Topic: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

An agreement is utopian insofar as it holds together--or what is the same, holds together those party to it--through a relationship of true, but unrealistic, trust.  An agreement is simply that:  two persons who, having some task before them that involves both of them, both say they will contribute.  Both persons understand their mutual situation in the same way.  This understanding is made possible by, first of all, an common understanding of the words used between them.  A contract, on the other hand, as a type of agreement, is different.  Contracts are always draconian, as opposed to utopian.  No naive belief in the goodness of the other party is required inasmuch, obviously, as the terms of the agreement are enforced by an outsider, or third party, to the agreement.  It can scarcely be expected that there is even a single actual agreement that can exist on its own without some sense of enforcement.  But this sense may be subtle; an agreement may be enforced through something as ordinary as shame or fear of public rebuke.  To the extent that "one's reputation" is sufficient to enforce an agreement, formal contracts are not required.  These are considerations that have been developed throughout this blog.  But there is more.  I want to go on to extrapolate from agreements to a general theory of society, but one, importantly, in answer to Rousseau's Social Contract idea.  There is no need here for a depth-psychological analysis of agreements; only to say they are an everyday occurance and one that allows the level of productivity that presently sustains human life.  Here we see an obvious flaw in Rousseau's theory.  Rousseau sees as possible, and in some cases actual, a "contract" between a group called "the people" and, on the other hand, an entity called government.  In fact, government is the aforesaid third party in all contracts.  For that reason--that there is no higher or more general enforcer of agreements--there can be no contract between "the people" and government.  That is because there is no entity larger than government to enforce such a contract.  Indeed, we may move to the highly abstract notion that "the people," as Rousseau calls them, live in relation to government in a real "state of nature."  That is, the relations of the people in general and their government is going to be either one of utopian trust (unrealistic or naive trust) or, on the other hand, distrust and animosity.  There is going to be no happy relation between government and the people.  Where agreements exist at all, they must be utopian in the aforesaid sense.  That is, humans have to trust one another; or what is the same, they cannot endanger themselves by unrealistic or highly risk mutual projects. 


Society is not a unitary and unending entity but, quite the contrary, consists of fleeting moments that follow one another in succession.  These moments I call agreements.  They begin and end with the meeting, the working-together, and their conclusion of the business at hand.  What remains after agreements are concluded is the residue of these agreements--even large corporations and government bureaucracies--which may seem like viable organizations but really are likely, without the infusion of new agreements, fade away.   Europeans have sent America their bad ideas, upon which we have built our civilization. (!!!)The Social Contract is one of these ideas.  In this smile happy theory there is one group of people called "the people"; and another entity (of some sort) called the ruler or potential ruler.  By (again) happy chance these two entities meet and form a "contract," wherein certain things are to be done by "the people" and certain things are to be done by "the ruler."  In Rousseau's idea, if either party defaults in his or their responsibility, then the contract is void.  This is certainly wishful thinking and has no basis in reality at all.  We can toss most of the notion of the Social Contract theory into the trashcan.  I reserve for  the possibility that I might concede some elements of Rousseau's notion, which was built for its part out of the Medieval notions of Germans (see Gierke on Medieval Political Theory).  Where Rousseau was mistaken was in his point that "the people" are in any way united.   In reality, there is no one individual who can truly be called united with any other person.  Upon this point--that humans are in perpetual friction with one another--is where we must begin, I aver, our social theory.  Human beings in conflict call government--and all sorts of legal oppression--into existence through the simple fact that these persons cannot agree among themselves.   As I say, the fundamental movement or "progress" of society results from the logical contradiction between utopian and contractual elements of the individual agreement.

What FT says about "society" is that society as we understand the term begins and ends with a simple agreement.  The fundamental movement or "progress" of society results from the logical contradiction between utopian and contractual elements of the individual agreement.  What distinguishes Force Theory is its acceptance of realities that are beyond control by the individual.  I can mention in this connection the issue of dictatorship versus democracy.  The common perception is that Force Theory, as a fascist notion, favors dictatorship over democracy.  What distinguishes FT, on the other hand, is its acceptance of dictatorship under many circumstances as just part of unalterable, ongoing reality.  I have suggested this general idea in the past but want to make the notion more expllicit here.  Dictatorship is acceptable, but not necessarily desirable.   Unfortunately dictatorships do not exist because of agreements, and so any "evaluation" of them is out of the question.  I never made an agreement with this or that political institution; therefore what I can expect from such an institution depends entirely upon who is stronger, the governement or me.  This is our inevitable conclusion.  Such an opinion would depend on whether the political institution in question favors me, as an individual, or does not.  This is the kind of thing Max Stirner would say.  So to repeat:  Force Theory, albeit fascist (as it is also anarchist) is not pro-dictatorship as opposed to favoring democracy.  As Oscar Wilde said, "the people" is a formidable and oppressive.  If democracy has the backing of "the people," then this democracy is going to be draconian.  There are countless examples of this oppression that I can relate out of my own life, and in particular my experience as an art curator in a small town.  I do not have to relate details of this; one can simply imagine.  Democracy, we are saying, is an abstract and logical outcome of the failure of agreements, wherein what began as a utopian agreement "reverses" itself, or negates itsef, to become a categorical agent of oppression.  Democracy negates the individual and negates art. 

An agreement is utopian by virtue of its insistence on perfect trust and mutual vulnerability.  I have already said this in earlier sections.  This "utopia" existed in the words of palelithic hunters, as soon, perhaps, as they acquired language and the ability to make promises. So, we must credit these early hunters the very thought of utopia, which idea was given written expression only very belatedly by "utopian" philosophers.  Hunters were themselves idealists. They were able to "promise" one another perfect friendship and lasting cooperation.  In the course of life, however, friendship itself is a highly unstable relationship.  One's friends become one's enemy, if for no other reason than there is too much familiarity.  The spatial proximity of persons to one another is too close.  There are personality conflicts and so forth.  In earlier parts of this blog I have stressed the importance of mutual familiarity as humans try to reach an understanding or agreement.  I may have overstated this point and may need now to qualify it.  There is an important point to be made, and cannot be overstated, that side-by-side living is highly useful to forming agreements; because, even if men do not like one another and are competitive with one another, they can normally predict one another's actions.  So, in forming an agreement they have some idea, initially, of the chances of that agreement for success.  But there is a further point:  men who are not familiars can also form agreements.   As to what agreements un-familiars can form, whether for example these are going to be more momentary agreements--as in trade--is a question we can deal with later.

Society is a logical system and as such moves, or is active, according to logical--we are saying here Hegelian--principles.  What happens on a small scale, in the micro-situation, is going to happen on a large scale.  Thus what happens, by way of "movement," to a primal agreement is going to happen to the most advanced society, insofar as that society is based on living agreements.  The principle of this movement is "dialectic."  Sociologists have called dialectic "conflict theory"; but FT sees not simply conflict but a more logical process in the movement of society.  What we are looking for, in this connection, is the "contradiction" within the simple or primal agreement.  The fate of the agreement between two paleolithic hunters prefigures the history of modern civilization.  This is the point of view I am taking now.   Our task presently is to find the precise way that elements of utopianism and contract enter the agreement in the first place; then we can see the outcome of their struggle.  Essentially, the balance of an agreement tips from utopianism to contractualism at the slightest suggestion of distrust between parties.

                As I say, the utopian agreement, as a logical or categorical idea, passes inexorably--not through mechanical causallity  but through logical (Hegelian) causality--to its own negation.
In earlier sections I have "dissected" the word trust.  What I said is that trust is essentially distrust.  Trust is what a person concedes to another person when there is every reason to distrust that second person; but one "chooses not to."  That is, one acts towards this second person as though (als ob) there is no reason to distrust.  We may conclude that trust is more an outward gesture or external action rather than a mental state of mind.  In trust there is always doubt.  That is precisely the problem with agreements.  Utopian theories have been advanced by thinkers and writers and the problems that there are--mostly from the fact that humans do not really trust one another--are easy to penetrate.  Such systems are readily refuted.  But the same factors that control the destiny of whole societies--the Soviet experiment would be an example, along with many utopian experiments in the United States--determine the outcome, it is true, in the simple agreement as has existed in one form or another since the beginnings of mankind.  Every agreement, as a boat taking on water is hopelessly inclined to tip one way or another, is inclined by all the spontaneous and natural forces working against it, to lapse into a contractual obligation.  This is a logical--categorical--shift.  In a State of Nature, two beings would have a scrap, momentarialy, and settle any dispute between them.  This is the give-and-take of nature.  Within the agreement there is no give-and-take, really, rather only "all-or-nothing."  The terms of the agreement in the first place are absolute, clearly stated as to what they are, with no provision for compromise.  This is the case with every agreement defined in the way we here define agreements.  So, any factor such as personality conflicts or other extraneous things that impact the agreement are translated forthwith into a categorical misunderstanding which demands, as a consequence, a "contractual provision."    The contract is a draconian insitution.  Through the contract what is utopian--a simple understanding based on trust and the belief (see elsewhere for an analysis of the word belief, which is like the word trust) in truthfullness--reverts to a relationship of constraint and government.  It must be made clear that such an insitution is not found in a State of Nature.  The contract provides for an abstract, categorial solution to problems within the agreement.  What began as a utopian relationship outside the State of Nature results in an absolutist relationship unknown to non-humans.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-10-11 18:47:57)

Re: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

There is a natural combativeness among humans that one sees everyday, within one's small family group and virtually everywhere else.  Small arguments arise and are settled, somehow.  In all these dispsutes there is, as suggested by the phrase "he said, she said," no truth or justice or any of the "higher standardss" that humans apply.  This is because in this--our inveterate contrariness--there is no agreeement.    Only agreements, we are saying, provide a standard of right or wrong, of truth or falsity and so forth.   This "moral faculty" is unknown in Nature outside human life.  It is a special capacity of our own species.  Human beings are alone in the ability to form such agreements.  There are analogies throughout nature:  some ability within a species--below I suggest flight is this way--can "contradict" some other, more established habit.  Agreements are departures from ordinary animal behavior; yet they must sometime reconcile themselves with the usual way of doing things.

                      Only agreements, we are saying, provide a standard of right or
                           wrong, of truth or falsity and so forth.

We may suggest that agreements are contra naturam.   In a sense, I suppose, the flight of birds is "against nature."  Birds fly, but they also must eventually rest on earth, as, finally, human beings can sustain agreements for a certain time but then must subside into the rhythm of family squabbles, workplace pettyness and so forth.  In these situations there is no standard of justice, nor is there the possibility of satissfactory arbitration.  Human beings alone of all species have some respite from these conflicts; and within this ivory tower humans are most productive.  Agreements provide an opportunity for sequestered cooperation and clear thought.   Within the agreement, exceptional as this state is, there is harmony and order corresponding to the perfection of a clock or fine machine.  Agreements form the background in which humans share information peaceably and unrestrictedly.  Here there is trust.  Trust, unlike complacency, exists only within the agreement.

The main point to be made in this posting is that there is nothing basic in any agreement, anywhere and no matter who the parties to the agreement are, that was not present in the first place between paleolithic hunters.   Agreements as a feature of human life have not advanced, essentially, since that time.   We may move on at this point to ideologies which propose to create mass civilizations using as their model the simple agreement.  There is no other model for "utopia" that is workable.   On the other hand, communism, democracy, christianity and so forth, are proposals of this order.  They are pseudo-agreements and are impossible.   They are all categorically utopian concepts that, following Hegelian order of logic, negate themselves.    None are workable because they violate the most provisions of the first agreements that there were.  These things we have said before.  We may go on to what is regarded finally, in Force Theory, "the heart of the matter."  A lot of discussion is necessary after the statement which follows here, as well as around the statement.  Our statement is, to which FT can generally be reduced, is that the utopian agreement, as a logical or categorical idea, passes inexorably--not through mechanical causallity but through logical (Hegelian) causality--to its own negation.  This self-negation of the utopian agreement, called here the contractual agreement, prefigures the entire course of human history as a logical process.   Thus we are saying, a "utopian society" has always existed; and likewise this utopia perpetually negates itself--as does its logical opposite.  Absolute democracy is followed by absolute dictatorship.  This dicatorship is by no means anything of the order of Fascism or National Socialism, which are only refinements of primal biology.  Quite the contrary, this dicatorship to which I refer is one so well understood by Oscar Wilde, categorical oppression "by the People."

                      This self-negation of the utopian agreement, called here the contractual
                          agreement, prefigures the entire course of human history as a logical process.



1. Hunters understood the terms of their agreement (they had done the same things together before; they had done them countless times).  In a human grouping of the magnitude of a modern civiliation no one understands anything.  A civilization of this size runs on pure inertia, through the agreements that there were and the agreements, today, that take place here and there.

2. In the proposal between men for a hunt there was a clearly stated idea of quid pro quo.  In a modern civilization there is no agreement, so there is no quid pro quo. 

3. An agreement between members of the original human community was freely or voluntarily  entered into.  Civilization today is simply something one finds himself in, as a kind of ersatz State of Nature.  Where there is no free choice, to participate or not, there is no true agreement.  Hence communism (or democracy and so forth) are not agreements.

4. An ideology-based society has no provision within it for conclusion.   Once the work prescribed in an agreement is done, the agreegment itself ceases to exist.   The ideologies that there are believe--and this belief is promoted in religion and scholarship--that they will exist forever, which of course is not the case.

5. Where communism (etc.) fail to compel us into new behavior, the proverbial State of Nature is our final safe haven.  This basic proposition--that living with nature rather than against nature is the greatest hope for success for any group of humans--is the basis for Neo-Fascist theory, here called Force Theory.





1. Contractualization of agreements? [:| need a new term]   Meaning:  turning of a voluntary or free association into an involuntary or contractual association.  2. Agreements are entered only freely by all parties:  this a condition of the agreement.   In fact, all freedom has ever meant, finally, in any Western philosophy is the freedom to enter or withdraw from agreements.  3. There are no agreementsw unless there are disagreements that might be...   4. Disgreements arise within agreements.  Disagreements, through the same vulnerability to contradiction and inconsistency that arise within any piece of writing (this piece not excepted), may and probably are already built into the original agreement and cause its fall into contractual arbitration.  5. An agreement in effect contradicts its original assumption of freedom by disallowing any enforcing principle within the agreement.  This abjuring of force by any party to assert its "rights," along with the inadequacy oflanguage to precisely record the intentions of parties, does seem to doom each and every agreement to fall into disagreement; parties to the agreement cause themselves to fall under control of an outside, even an enemy, arbiter.  The stipulation that parties can turn outside the agreement "contractualizes" the agreement.  parties submit themselves to the discretionary power of an arbiter.  6. The contractual agreement is precisely opposite of the free, voluntary agreement.   7. Any type of society, monolithic or democratic, passes through the same phases as an agreement:  it, the society, will pass from a stage of voluntary association to one of contractual, or forced association.   8. When the freedom to enter or withdraw from agreements is taken away, the agreement--and the relationship based on the agreement--dies.  What we call "society" today, worldwide, is essentially lifeless shells and dead remains of agreements that once were.  These agreements, in falling into disagreements and submitting themselves to arbitration (contractual servitude), died.    9. A contractual relationship is indistinguishable from an absolute dicatorship (aside from the numbers within the mere agreement as opposed to the larger society).  Thus the principle emerges:  freedom, by virtue of the logic of relations through agreement, passes into unfreedom.  This is a law not of nature but of man.   10. Conclusion:  certain laws of nature have to be accepted in human relationships.  Baboon fascism may become, raised to a "considered" or "moderate" level of humanity, what Force Theory calls Spartan Socialism.  Small size, draconian force, slavery of the mentally weak by the smart (necessarily within the same race) are some features of Spartan Socialism.

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2 Reply by richard_swartzbaugh 2009-09-18 15:12:45opics to come:

history of this idea esp. in engels and duhring

compare agreements with understanding.

agreements are creations of thought and "perfect."

understanding is a phenomenon of instinct.

race is understanding!

contrast race as understanding and agreements as logic and abstractions.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2009-09-23 13:30:07)

Re: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

engels and duhring with much sharper focus (than before) on relationship of two to present topic of force theory

Re: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

extended

Re: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

extended

Re: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

extended

Re: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

warehouse:

Re: 20. UTOPIAN AGREEMENTS VERSUS CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS

warehouse:

topics to come:

history of this idea esp. in engels and duhring

compare agreements with understanding.

agreements are creations of thought and "perfect."

understanding is a phenomenon of instinct.

race is understanding!

contrast race as understanding and agreements as logic and abstractions.