Topic: 2.ON BEING DISADVANTAGED WITHIN AN AGREEMENT

Every furry little creature of the woods is looking out, always, for some nasty preditor.  Every furry creature is on the lookout for food, too.   Nature is is agog with shifty eyes and twitching noses.    The animal kingdom is alert always, sensing every nuance of its surroundings.   In expectation of sudden, violent attack is how all creatures--including man--spend most of their lives.   The issue in this essay is human beings; that is where we will focus our attention.  The human, not simply by virtue of his evolutional past but his (relative) evolutional present, into the time he had acquired tools and language, was faced with ever-present dangers, the worst of which (other than disease) were probably his human neighbors.    Ambush here or there, from behind a bush or rock, were things to look out for in the most everyday trip down a path or into the woods.  Eternal vigilance was the human motto.   Human beings, simply stated, like their animal cousins, were--and still are--always on guard.

Human life as it has evolved, from a lower form of intelligence to a higher form, has however provided one exception to the rule of vigilance.  That is within the agreement, which is a capacity solely of human beings.  Animals do not have agreements.  The particular feature of the agreement which concerns us here is that, within the agreement, vigilance is suspended.  The idea of trust comes to the fore here.   Earlier I tried to define trust and show its role in human life.   It must suffice to say that I found trust to be a problematic notion.  That is humans have it, animals do not have trust, precisely.  Trust is paradoxical even among humans.  Often trust cannot be distinguished from mere complacency.  Trust, rather, is a specifically legal notion and has its place most commonly in documents of law. Trust, as I said earlier, is more than simply a suspension of distrust, trust rather is the logical negation of distrust.  Only human beings, with their capacity for symbols and logic, are capable of true negation.  But there is more.  Outside of law, the word trust is encountered in religious contexts, as in the phrase "In God we trust."   Religion and law both speak positively of the trust human beings can and must have between them.  Much of religious and legal writing is an admonishion of humans to trust one another.    Law provides the idea of an enforced trust, which is precisely a contradiction in terms:  trust is by definition voluntary.  We may attempt elsewhere a more complete philosophy of trust.  Here for the moment, however, it must suffice to say that trust is an unnatural condition that exists between human beings.    We may say without hestitation that trust is unnatural; while, on the other hand, whether trust is against nature, contra naturam, remains a topic of speculation.

Trust is essentially the suspension of the most natural of all human instincts, vigilance.  Outside an agreement the human being, like his animal cousins, is on guard.  Within the agreement the opposite is the case:  the human being has "agreed" to let down his guard, insofar as obviously any show of oppositional alertness is "counter-productive."  We may state our case more precisely.  Within the agreement there is a requirement of certain physical and mental proximity that partners have to one another, which is in effect an exposure to one another.   I do not need to refer to obscure kinds of cabalistic meetings to make my point.  In everyday contact among human beings there is shown this same kind of trust.  This trust may partially derive from agreements.  Much of the exposure that humans allow to one another comes from complacency, that is the thought that at a given moment this or that person simply means no harm to the present company.  Our streets are crowded with people on a given day who belive that no harm is going to come to them from other people.  So, we can assume that in a meeting of men who have among themselves an agreement there is going to be also complacency, simply, of the most everyday sort.  This we can easily conclude.  On the other hand, men working closely together--always within the confines of an agreement--have a particular exposure to one another that is "unnatural."  Indeed, their relationship may be personally uncomfortable; they are looking beyond their relationship,  on the other hand, for an eventual profit or advantatge to themselves.  They suspend their instinctiive suspicion of one another as physical beings and possible natural enemies.  Of course if these collaborating persons are more distant from one another, in ethnic and racial terms, the level of suspicion is going to be higher.  These (ethnic tensions) are all things  that have been studied in behavioral science; my point is well taken.   Agreements are simply easier among persons of the same racial and ethnic background, because there is less instinctive mutual suspicion in the first place.  But the essential fact is that suspicion can be and is suspended within an agreement whose parties come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.  And moreover this suspension of suspicion is as abstract and absolute as between two ethnic "familials" [Swartzbaugh neologism].  No matter how distant were persons before entering an agreement, within the agreement there is perfect peace and trust.   Acceptance of the agreement in general requires that any disruptive antagonism--and this would include inimical suspicion--is set aside, while all attention is directed toward carrying out the "positive" goals of the agreement.

Re: 2.ON BEING DISADVANTAGED WITHIN AN AGREEMENT

Seen best in children, there is is a natural tendency among human beings to argue and fight.  These instincts are carried into adulthood; some races, such as Africans, display these traits frequently in everyday life.  In the context of agreements this sort of natural argumentation is fatal.  Also the human being, as do animals, display signs or symbols of submission.  One animal submits to another in a fight.  Human beings do this too:  in fact such submission and submissiveness is a requirement of agreements.  I want to qualify this statement:  gestures of submission have become stylized and abstract; rather than laying prostrate before a victor, a "neutral" gesture--like showing open hands to prove no weapon exists--is enough.  In other words, trust is more than complacency.  I have made this point repeatedly.   The overall mentality of the agreement is mental and intellectual and not psychological.    In any case, there has to be within an agreement an overt, clearly stated neutrality displayed by all parties.  Then the road is clear to proceed to the technicalities--the quid pro quo-- of the agreement.

Clearly, every living being including human being is disadvantaged in nature in relation to some other being.  People are born unequal, if not in one trait or ability then in some other.  If we were to learn exclusively from nature then we would never raise the issue of equality versus inequality.  It is scarcely conceivable, so little is equality a fact of nature, that theorists and ideologues would make it their main point of contention.  We are asked to worry that this or that person is unequal to some other person; that that is not "fair."  Why should anyone bother over such a consideration.  Some professor is advanced, another demoted over his stance on the issue.  Engels and Marx made it the main issue of their theory.  Rousseau posed first and foremost the question of human inequality.  Force Theory accepts natural inequality, so long as human beings exist in relationship to one another in a "State of Nature." 

Where we consider the "State of Man," on the other hand, or society properly speaking--as agreements--there is an altogether different conclusion.  Every agreement--and society itself is simply a string or nexus of agreements--requires equality of a certain sort.  I began my blog a year ago by saying equals will not enter an agreement because there is no way that they would have, among them, of settling a disagreement.  Now I have amended this statement.  First of all, there are no equals anywhere, anyway, "in Nature."  This is easy to conclude.  But persons become equals as they enter their agreement.  Were they not equals within the agreement, the basic conditon of any agreement would not be met.  It is precisely within the agreement that inequality, specifically of physical force, is abjured.  That is the condition of any agreement.   Each demands of the other that "gloves are lowered," and the parties become equal to one another by virtue of their absolute vulnerability.  It is in this relationship of equality of force--which equality defines the word "peace"--that a constructive collaboration is possible.   Peace and equality, which are the cornerstone concepts of modern ideology, are derived in essence from the primitive human theory, existing since the Paleolithic, of agreements. 

As I said before, the physical proximity of persons in an agreement, who are discussing something--they may be sitting or standing--is not a posture of defense or attack, either one.  If the physical--and mental--posture or stance of persons in a relationship of agreement is not one of defense, this event is unique in animal and human life.  The defenses of the person have been lowered, the person is highly vulnerable in this situation.  He has trusted.   Marriage is perhaps an extreme example of this kind of trust, exposing a physically weaker woman to a stronger, more violent husband (or vice versa). Marriage is precisely this:  showing trust by exposing oneself to the possibility physical and mental abuse.  A man or woman sleeps in the presence of his or her spouse.  Sleeping together is not sexual so much as it demonstrates essential trust.  This trust can be violated by a violent spouse, which underscores the basic point that this, marriage and cohabitation,  is precisely a relation of trust. Trust means in this context that the person has opened himself to sudden attack, like a boxer who lowers his arms and exposes himself to a full punch from an opponent.  In boxing this gesture could be fatal; of course for this reason the boxer never does lower his arms.  In business, though, or any activity of human beings called an "agreement," this "lowering of gloves" is precisely what is required in the agreement.   Without abjuring or conceding physical force, parties to the agreement, as agreement, cannot proceed.  I talked earlier about the "unnaturalness" of human tools and technics.  The fact that the human being uses a stick as a tool or weapon entirely changes the human orientation in nature, from a direct relationship with nature to an indirect relation.  But this new orientation has a corresponding social implication. 

Within an agreement the person is vulnerable in a way he (or she) would not be were there no agreement.  The agreement is not there, however, simply to open a person to sudden and devastating attack.  The agreement exists to accomplish an objective or objectives desired by the respective parties to the agreement.  This is the quid pro quo of the agreement. Quid pro quo is the rationale of the agreement, without which no one would enter the agreement in the first place.  I want for a moment to raise the issue of religion, Christianity in particular:  in religion there often seems to be the implication of an agreement for the sake of agreement, solely for the purpose of "showing trust."  Our society often demands "trust" without citizens understanding the quid pro quo of this trust.   An agreement in the true or primal sense of the word, as two hunters agreeing to hunt tomorrow, is a small relationship, that is, is between just several persons who understand each other very well, having lived and hunted together for many years.  Christianity is a relationship between millions persons of diverse backgrounds.  What Christianity--and democracy--does share with the small, pure agreement is the element of trust and mutual exposure and vulnerability to one another.  Christianity and arcane ideologies (communism, democracy etc.) propose mutual trust without mutual quid pro quo.  Trust in these ideologies is regarded as an end in itself.  This is contra naturam.  Trust, which is simply as I said earlier the suspension of natural distrust, is the negative side of an agreement:  trust is something no animal would do, on the grounds that consequences could be fatal.

Opening oneself to attack, "lowering one's gloves," means obviously that, if attacked, consequences for the disadvantaged person are going to be more serious.  If one is prepared for a robber, one is going to counter that robber; unprepared, the person is highly vulnerable.  This is true within agreements.  One is not simply challenged, he is ordinarily defeated, at least in the framework of his original agreement,  devastated.  The thought arises of retaliation.  The retailiation that arises from being disadvantaged within an agreement is obviously going to be more extreme.  I spoke earlier of the disadvantage that every creature in nature is bound to have in relation to some other creatures.  Being "unfairly" advantaged or disadvantaged is the everyday condition of everyone.  But "in Nature" one's guard is going to be up.  No matter how weak a creature is, it (or he or she) is going to be on the lookout for danger.  This sort of effective or ineffective natural protection does not exist within agreements, because of the basic condition of equality within agreements--that of mutual trust.  And it follows then that the violation of trust within an agreement, where one is not on guard, is going to be more radical--disadvantage one absolutely--than where one is on guard.  To be in an agreement means to suspend the defenses provided by Nature, and in that sense to be outside the State of Nature itself.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2009-09-06 20:15:13)

Re: 2.ON BEING DISADVANTAGED WITHIN AN AGREEMENT

Society we define as a totality of agreements.  I have stated this position earlier.  I should also say that we have qualified or refined our idea of society to insist that these are living agreements.   That is,  they are conscious expressions of active participants or parties.  For an agreement to be "social" someone has to know of the agreement and be active in administering it.   Having said that a society is a nexus of agreements it is also appears that this totality grows quantitatively, even as human beings themselves become more numerous.  The fact that humans have settled into agriculturalism and have entered mutually beneficial trade relations contributes to what anthropologists have called "cultural evolution."  Force Theory acknowledges that societies and cultures do in an important sense "evolve," and in a manner superficially similar to the evolution of biological species and races.  Force Theory, as Engels' socialism or Spengler's organic theory, is evolutionist.  At issue, on the other hand, and where Force Theory proceeds in its own direction, is as regards the mechanism of evolution.  One evolutional theory will emphasize trade relations, division of labor, or, in Leslie White's view, the harnessing of energy.   These different evolutional philosophies see culture from different sides.  Force Theory for its part stresses agreements and the activity--or logical process--within agreements as the explanation for social and cultural evolution.  Human bonds which originate in small groups and small agreements extend, sooner or later, beyond these small groups, by degrees, by virtue of the failure of these bonds and the consequent need for "external" arbitration.  Above I have discussed how a person disadvantaged in an agreement is radically more vulnerable than some being human or animal that is disadvantaged "in a State of Nature."  The vulnerability of a being, always a human being, within an agreement is absolute because that being has shown absolute trust.  This was the subject of an earlier page of this section.  I can restate this point several ways.  As an agreement fails, its parties look outside the agreement for support and arbitration; and the now third parties become, finally, second parties of new agreements.  The new agreement aborbs the first agreement and is larger than the first.  In this way society as a whole grows in size and complexity.  In previous sections of this blog I have built the groundwork for that assumption.

The mechanism of social evolution is negative.  That is, it is precisely through the failure of agreements not through their success that society grows.  It is the need of humans in the face of dis-agreements, in which these persons are not only disadvantaged but vulnerable, that compels them to look outside their agreement--and outside their immediate society--for new relationships.  The old grow is dissolved, and in that sense fails, by incorporation by a new and virtually "inimical" agreement.  This idea can be clearly stated.   Men seek precisely their former enemies, finally, as new allies and as partners in new agreements (and new societies).  Agreements, insofar as they fall into dis-agreements, negate themselves through the logical process I describe.  There are some points in this connection that should be reviewed before we proceed.  I said earlier [cite] that the manner of life of animals and many humans, and the way they resolve disputes, is confrontation.  Animals and most humans most of the time are confrontational and "Darwinian" in their interaction with other humans and animals.  This I have already said.  Within an agreement, on the other hand, precisely, which is a mental rather than an instinctive entity, the process of interaction is logical.  We may further point to Hegel's logic, or "dialectic."  Humans then negate their relationships when they seek arbitration from a former enemy, as the most logical arbitor--objective, impartial--for the dispute that they have.  The original agreement falls into the hands of its own negation, in other words, into the hands of its enemy.  But the enemy can be and is party to a new agreement.  Agreements evolve, and as agreements so society evolves, according to this logical or Hegelian process.  This is more than confrontation, and the evolution this logic produces is more than biological evolution.  Society grows as an intellectual, not an instinctual, form.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2009-09-06 19:57:18)

Re: 2.ON BEING DISADVANTAGED WITHIN AN AGREEMENT

Meditation #1:

Try making a statement without invoking "value."  For instance:

This thing causes this other thing to happen.  There is no suggestion of value in this statement.

If I say, the purpose of this object is to cause this thing to happen, there is no suggestion of value.  All I have said is that, if I have in the first place a purpose of doing this thing, then by doing this thing I do this other thing.  My actual statement is about causality, in other words about fact.

On the other hand, if I say that this object has a "practical" purpose, I seem to have evoked the idea of value.   I have first used the word "practical" with no context.    I have not specified what purpose it is that I am talking about.  To say only that a thing is "practical" is to suggest a value of the thing.

The word purpose with no context is a value word.  To say a thing "has purpose" is a value word.  To say a thing has some specific purpose--like a wheel has the purpose of making a car go--is turned our statement from one of value to one of fact.

The word "practical" alone indicates value or a value judgement.  "Practical" is a value word.  To say, on the other hand,  "practical for something," takes value out of the statement.

The word "good" is a value word so long as we do not say "good for what."  If we just say "good," then the word is a value word.  To say "good-in-itself" is Platonic nonsense. 

To say "do good for some person" evokes the idea of value, because it is not stated what good for the person is done.  On the other hand, if I say the good I have done for this person is that I have fed him, when he needed food, then my statement does say what good it is that I have done.  But also, the good I have done is no longer a value but a fact.  Good in this latter context is not a value word but a fact word. 

Conclusion:  the idea of value exists in context where there is a statement of purpose (or direction?) that is not specified.  So long as the purpose is stated, the statement can be called "factual."   Value is an idea evoked simply by an incomplete statement, where a listener is required to fill in a "purpose" out of his own imagination. 

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Meditation #2:

A tool is a practical thing; no one, having a purpose for the tool, is going to give it up.

Machines do work for human beings.  Machines also do work of human beings.

Machines replace human work.

We may ask:  how much human individual self-esteem derive from the work he or she does?  How much or many of ones' personal values and self-concept derive from work the machines do do or could do?

The human being will never give up the tools of his life.  He thinks of them as enabling him to live.  He does not think of what these machines make of him.  Marx and Engels wasted their time if they believed a human being will ever think about himself or what he has become through tools and technology.  The person in thinking of his tools and machines simply does not put himself into the picture.   He will not give up machines, or change his relation with them in any way, on account of what they "personally" mean to him or on account of how they change his life in general.  The personal implications of tools and machines is "pointless" speculation.

But the matter does not end there.  In the long run, I suggest, issues of self-esteem have serious implication for human history.    What sorts of things do persons deprived of personal satisfaction, through work, do to other persons?  What, when machines to do all work, is the final effect of simply letting human beings loose to do what they want--or nothing--in life?

Human beings are idlers now in a world of machines.  There is a relationship of indifference, at best, animosity at worst. 

(1)First there was a relationship of the person to the tools of his life. 

(2)Then there came to be a relation of human beings to one another through the tools of their lives.  The thing sociologists call social structure was not of humans, really, but of machines and financial structures. 

(3) Humans are finally excluded from the structure of their own technology.  Society is obsolete.   The only real relations that exist are the relations among the tools themselves, in a structure we call industry. 

(4)Human beings for their part have no relations among themselves, except upon very primal terms, as apes would.  Apes have no tools, therefore no relations through tools.   They have only primal relations:  this is what human beings now have.

I have mentioned race.

Race is reconstituted personality. In the modern age, the personality that one has through race is the only personality one has.  The same is true of values.  The only values that exist, today, are racial values.  The only identity one has is a racial identity.

Re: 2.ON BEING DISADVANTAGED WITHIN AN AGREEMENT

"Original Sin" in Force Theory

Force Theory needs, and will get, a small story equivalent to Christianity's "Original Sin." That story, or really just a simple situation, is as follows.    A man kneels in a posture and mental attitude of submission. [I want to use the word "abject" but better check on this.]   In addition to kneeling, the man's hands are folded, useless in any combat, in front of him; his head is bowed exposing the back of his neck, the most vulnerable part of his body.  In this attitude he is open to, in the sense of being in touch with, and also vulnerable to something outside himself.   Open and exposed is what he becomes.  I want to focus the reader's attention on this kneeling man.  Kneeling in such a posture of abject sumission is what Force Theory calls "Original Sin."

This posture of submission is not merely an absence of normal animal and instinctive confrontation, it is a point of view only human beings are capable of.   This is not a posture by instinct but by logic.   I have to warn the reader about my use word "logic,"  which in the context of Force Theory suggests, not simply

(1) a relationship of symbols but a relationship of human beings; and...

(2) moreover a relationship that is "active," or happens as a process; and

(3) the process is orderly and predictable according to the Hegelian notion of "dialectic."  By logical I mean an action becomes a "pure" symbol in a relationship of "negation and resolution of contradiction" as described by Hegel.

Thus, in our specific case, the kneeling man in an attitude whereby force is abjured, being   abjectly vulnerable, has not so much ceased to be confrontational, as he has negated confrontation itself.  This is an act not of instinct or even thinking, merely, as of logic--the most abstract form of human thinking. 

This primal negation will not change, merely, but will pass into its opposite.  Thus if the person in the act of abject suplication has negated violence and force, his next act will be to absolutely affirm violence and force.  It is tempting to say that this man wavers between extremes; but these extremes do not derive from normal instinctive adaptations to everyday circumstances, but are built into mind as active logic.  It is easy to infer that the whole course of human history is dominated (not totally determined but dominated) by this passing back and forth between logical extremes.

Thus if the praying man negates his own base feelings, these feelings, in arising time and time again--in himself and others-- will bring on consequently a perpetual state of negation, resolution, and subsequent negation.