Topic: 36. OPENNESS AND FORMLESSNESS: FIRST CONTRADICTION

Force Theory can be summed up in several sentences: 

(1) Technology may be defined generally as "open"--unbound by instinct--behavior.  (2) Human behavior, by virtue of and through technology, is formless.  (3) Society imposes, secondarily, a formed but faux or fabricated relationship upon humans who otherwise would be in an an unformed or technolgical relationship.  This relation is "moral," that is "absolute" and sacred; in the pronouncements of religion it is "eternal," fixed, unchanging.  The name of this absolute and sacred group of beings is Humanity.  (4) Humanity as a social, or faux, abstract and static, relationship comes into collision with the living or biological relationship that makes up the real species Homo sapiens.  (5) The species Homo sapiens, as any species, is nothing permanent but is unfolding in that it may "surpass" (Nietzsche) itself.  The mode of this becoming or self-overcoming is race.  Race, as an ideological response to society, overthrows society so that the one species can pass over into a new one.


1. Openness is formlessness.   Max Scheler in1930 anounced the begining of Philosophical Anthropology with a assertion regarding the "essence of man."  The human being, said Scheler, is "world-open" (welt-offen).    What Scheler said is quite simple and something we here accept.    The human being, Scheler said, is not in any way limited to the narrow range of thoughts and behaviors that restrict animal life.   He can gather into his vision all the possibilities that there are in nature.  He can learn from all that there is to learn from nature and profit from this knowledge.  This is how Scheler saw man:  as the highest point of nature beyond which no creature could ever go.  In "opening" himself to nature, the human had no higher condition to which to aspire.  But there is more.   Scheler, who aspired to reconcile anthropology with Catholicism, proposed something quite consistent with his religion.   That is, in being "open to the world," the human being in effect also departs from that world.   This view has a ring of Catholic mysticism and transcendentalism.  Between the beginnings of PA and what I've here called New Force Theory--an elaboration of PA--there have been several more important voices.  I've talked about these before.    My incentive for writing the present blog has been what I see as deficiencies in PA.   In Force Theory, taking our inspiration from Nietzsche and several others, we are finished with the anthropocentrism of PA.   As was just said, Scheler sees "world-openness" as the end of a line of evolution ending in an "ethical" final stage.  Ethical means here some thing beyond which or higher than no being can aspire.  The state of "openness" is a fulfillment of all the possibilities of nature present in one creature, the human being.   Plessner and Gehlen follow Scheler in giving merely give a sort of soft-scientific credibility to age-old Platonic philosophical notions of the human being as the highest plane of existence.   Force Theory proposes something different, saying--with Nietzsche--that the human being is simply one stage along the way towards higher forms of being.  "The human being is a thing that will be surpassed."   We complain, as Nietzsche and Spengler would complain, that Scheler's anthropology is one of near religious otherworldlyness.  Traditional Philosophical Anthropology in effect does what religion comonly does:   it separates the human being from the rest of nature.   Man in this view virtually departs from nature.  In Rousseau's terms, in entering the state of contract we leave the state of nature.     In Force Theory we propose here to reverse this.    What Force Theory does that Philosophical Anthropology failed to do is to put the human being back into nature as a part of nature.    We agree with Scheler that man has in some important sense separated himself from nature;  we agree that this separation has resulted in some material ascendency over other animal life.  But we also see this separation as temporary.   The long term history of nature will see the human being not only back under power and authority of nature; the human will actually succumb to nature as nature replaces old species with new ones.  This is an ongoing process over which man has no control.   We understand how this conflict has come about between PA and Force Theory.  We have seen how Scheler in effect, using the trappings of soft science, has created still another anthropocentric view.  Man was taken out of nature; we propose to put him back into nature with all the termoil that nature asserts.   The reconnection of man with nature--violently or racistically--is something we will talk about later.   The theme of race will be developed later.   For now the discussion will be the positive and negative sides to "openess."  Human life, in the openness of technics, is a material success; but through this openness, precisely, the human being is formless.  Formlessness is pathological whether through genetic disease or technological prowess.  Formlessness is a biological defect that must be corrected.    In Force Theory, openness is formlessness.   Anticipating our later argument:  humans temporarily correct the formlessness of their group life by instigating society.     The contradiction which society resolves results in a further separation from nature--pitting the absolute abstract ethical forms of society against the pliable forms of biology--that demands a resolution.  The long term correction comes, however, from nature as  the principle of racial emergence. 

2. Formlessness in human group life results from technological "adaptability."   That the human being is "open" is a point to which we have already concurred.  What has to be added to this point, as we will do now, is the idea that mind is a reflex of the tool, rather than the other way around.  Human beings, as they have done from earliest times, think because they act technologically.  Human thinking is open because technology is open.  This point needs no great explanation.  The tool "opens" the human being to numerous possibilities.  A tool as simple as a stick may be used for various purposes; the stick may be modified.  The stick may be a long one or short one; it may be pointed; it may be heavy, to be used as a club.  The stick is not limited in its form and function as is the arm and hand.  Thus, while a man sees the tool as useful, he is already thinking of modifications.  What he sees in his present artifact only gives him inspiration for future changes.  His mind "opens" to the possibility of other or different tools.  This is all Scheler meant when he said the human mind is "open"; although his stress was on the openness of mind, not on the derivation of mind.  Force Theory stresses tools and technology.  The emphasis in the earlier sections of this blog were on the leveraging effects of technology; that is about to change.  At present we are moving to the issue, first raised by Scheler, regarding the openness--and formlessness of group life--resulting from technology.  Our researches begin to move at this point beyond what was proposed by Scheler, Gehlen and others.  We are saying presently that the human being, in aspiring to create new form in technology, loses any form in group or interpersonal life that was acquired through biology and evolution.

3. The relations humans have with one another they have, at least in part, through the technology that they possess.  If their technology is open, the relations they have among themselves will be open.  Technology sets the human relations, which are structured to compliment the technology.  We have not yet risen to the level of society.  When we speak of technological man at this point we do not mean a man who is yet social.  Society has yet to be invented.  Humans exist to facilitate the technology.  There is nothing built into technology, even, that says technology is for human beings.  Technology serves the purposes and interests of technology itself.  And the relations humans enter into likewise serve technology.  If technology is open, so are human relations within technology.  But what we understand as openness and adaptability in technology is formlessness in human relations.  This is a point we raise here as basic to Force Theory but has remained hidden to Philosophical Anthropology and even to Engels as a great communist thinker.  We come back to the "impersonalism" of technology.   Impersonal means for Force Theory formlessness.   What we understand in technology as technology's adaptability and "openness" to change, the relations humans have among themselves--relations that were once set by genetics and biology--are formless.  Technical openness has the necessary obverse side of interpersonal formlessness.  The structure that there was in human relations through biology and evolution is, as humans "enter" their technology and live together through it, is lost in the pliability of technics itself.  Countless anecdotal examples of this impersonalism and formlessness are related everyday in the newspapers.  Here we want simply to give the idea theoretical context.  The human being, in aspiring to technological openness and adaptibility, have subjected their own relations, among themselves, to a formless chaos that would be fatal were the people not tied to their technics.  In other words, technology has become itself a a relation among human beings.  Relevance to the technical process becomes itself, in the minds of people, a group relationship.  We are now the point of introducing a further idea of social action.  Society is implimented with no technological thought in mind.  Not as such.  Society serves no direct technological purpose.  Rather society is the idea of an interpersonal relationship, apart from any technical purpose, and one which emulates, more or less, the original relations humans had "in a state of nature."  But there is a difference.  The relations humans have under society are a reflex of a mind that evolved as an agent and enabler of technology.  So that, even though society expressly serves no technical purpose, society has appeared through the same mind that technology itself once produced.  The express purpose of society is not technology; but the thoughts that make up social relations are derived from a mind that evolved as a reflex of technology.  Society is abstract, pliable; but like the technological world the social world is unto itself.  The appearance of society has set the stage for a new conflict, between, namely, human life as both technologically and its "human" relationships as opposed to life and evolution. 


THE SPECIES.   By species we mean an unbridgable, inviolable form of nature.   I must explain this point at length.   I speak in the manner ascribed to me [Parker - cite] of "soft science and German metaphysics."   The genes of a species--and genetics is what we are talking about--can circulate freely within the species form but cannot flow beyond this form.  The free flow of genes within the form ensures that the form will be constant.  That is why always a species, in its proper survival mode, "encourages" the free flow of genes throughout the extent of its outward form.   Species is a limitation and delimitation.  I do not mean that a species does not finally pass away to be replaced by another such form.  That is not at all the case.  Species are fragile.  But when they change, that change comes from within them.  There are mutations that change the species.   This is a subject I will take up later under the headings of mutation, individual and race.  At present it suffices to say that  the boundaries or forms that define the species cannot be bridged by any other species, and in that sense the form or delimitation does not succumb to a kind of genetic warfare that can occur between races within the species.   This is what we mean when we say that a species by definition is not interfertile outside its boundaries.  Within the boundaries there is fertility:  this or the tendency to spread genes around within the outer species form is what allows that group to maintain a constant form.  The main point here, and one that I will repeat throughout this essay, is that a general principle or "dynamic" exists wherein the species "exerts" itself toward a constancy of form.  Species have as a group a certain survival instinct, one present in individual members but diffused in such a way as to give the species as a whole a certain "organic" or vital wholeness and form.  It will appear shortly that what we say here is original at least in emphasis.  That is, conventional or academic biology speaks of a species as we have spoken--that the species is fertile and produces viable offspring within the group but not by crossing outside the group--whereas the individual mutations and forms appearing, here and there at first but consistently do not have any such "drive" toward consistent form.  A race is one such wayward and ambiguous appearance.  However, the species is seen by academic biology as simply a general form within which there are specific forms.  The species is seen as an abstract or taxonomic generality within which there are smaller forms or variations.  This is a question of a larger group encompassing special forms.  Pure taxonomy--the the species is a taxonomic form--as proposed by Linneaus does not itself, as such, refer to the issue of intra- and interfertility as basic to a universal biological process.  This is an organization of static phenomena.  In taxonomy, purely stated, a race is only a smaller species or a species within a species.   Species are not considered "assertive."   The position of Force Theory, on the other hand, begun by Eugen Duhring and expanded and qualified here, is that the species has the same basic survival instincts that individuals have.  But individuals are exogamous and the species is entirely endogamous.  This puts individuals and the species at odds in principle.  It would at first seem that there is no visible conflict in this opposition; for our purposes we have to say that the individual poses no threat to the species.  Every individual is in some small way mutant.  But the mutany--and here mutany carries the same sense as "mutanous" sailors who take over command of a ship--is easily absorbed by the species as a whole.  Obviously, the larger the species and the more its members are in contact with one another, through easy travel and occasions for mingling, the more readily mutant genes--and strong individual characteristics--are simply passed around and disappear, more or less, as visible traits of the species.  Again, however, as I have said throughout this blog, as these individual traits combine readily among themselves, but develop on their own a resistance to hybridizing and mixing, the greater this group--now the race--threatens the form of the species. This is a point we will be making later. The race will simply overwhelm the species.   Thus, even while the opposition of the mutant individual (and individuals are always at least minimally mutant and engaged in mutany) is not an important biological event, the opposition of race and species is significant.  That is our conclusion here.  (I propose no conclusions as to what human action, by way of social policy, might come from these considerations.  But I do mean to speak of politics briefly.)

This blog will contain certain suggestions regarding human action.  At the same time, however, I do not want to detract from the overall theoretical orientation of the blog.  A certain whinnyness creeps into the writings of conservative (for our purposes, vitalistic) writers--I am inclined that way myself--all the more because the causes they favor are most frequently lost.  I will explain "society" and why "society" means precisely, virtually by definition, and anti-vitalistic and pro-species point of view.   And I will try to show why no vitalistic movement can succeed against the forces of society so long as society stands in its present form.    Not in the short run.  The long run is a different matter, as we shall see.  There have been such admonitions in the past expressed in political movements which, for my part, are admirable.  Certain writers and even politicians have said things that are true and should be listened to.   A certain inbalance has been sensed in the relationship between human beings, or certain of them, and the living forces of nature which sustain our existence.  But the causes these writers represent are presently, as I say in the short term, lost causes.  They have been defeated and, with the gods of defeated nations everywhere, have been consigned to ignomy.   I would be flattered were it said that what I write here contributes to a justification and rationale for the actions and words of these writers and politicians.  Unfortunately, these have not been the successful literary and political movements of the past.  I could relate, in an historical mode, the whole pathetic littany of defeat and humiliation, on the battlefield and courtroom, at the hands of generals and judges and of course lawyers.  I could relate all the firings of university professors that there are; it is with particular sadness and sense of pathos that I mention the teachers, being one of them.  I could talk of the penelty in our society for one's incautious words, and the social rejection they bring about.  I could speak of the admonitions on the part of preachers that persons thinking certain thoughts will be consigned to hell.  A sense of isolation develops for those holding certain views.   They have had scorn and deprecation heaped upon them.   I speak with sadness that these movements have come and gone.   Such lamentations however are not the main point of this blog.  Of central focus is the outright contradiction between species and race.  These two forms of nature, one settled and permanent, the other open and creative, are in a death struggle and always will be.  The society that affirms the species, and is built upon the species, will pass away.  That is the basis of our ideology under the banner of Force Theory. 

Vitalism is a position in German philosophy but one which, since the war, has faded from public and academic sight.    One early defender of vitalism was Hans Driesch, who, in certain biological experiments with earthworms, brought a scientific credibility to the idea which had earlier but more obscure proponents such as Schelling the philosopher.  There came a long line of thinkers whom I mention off and on throughout this blog, notably Oswald Spengler and Ludwig Klages.  These thinkers had pronounced ideological positions in the conservative direction.  Their ideas fed into pre- and protofascist ideologies.   We are not going to let ourselves be mired in this discussion.  It may suffice to say that biological nature is a churning process.  We may say also that society does not have to recognize this vital process or accomodate it.  It is clear that, indeed, society runs often counter to nature understood as vital process.  But this is beside our main point.    What makes living nature churn, precisely, is still a fundamental mystery of all time and one which we cannot grapple with   We may speak of a "life force."  Finally, the Philosophical Anthropologists, whose methods but not necessarily whose conclusions are followed in this blog, have diligently attempted to understand vital process and the underlying workings of living matter in terms that are satisfying both to philosophers and scientists.  Philosophical Anthropology itself has become mired in politics and has retained the certain taint, so objectionable to Anglos and Americans, of "Germanisms."  Nowhere in this blog will I defend vitalism; I simply hereby declare myself to be in the vitalist camp and, to some extend, an opponent of hyper-empiricism.  The leader of British theoretical anarchists has tellingly spoken of my own writing as a "mix of soft science and German metaphysics."  Unfriendly though his comment was, it is certainly true of me.  It remains to be said only that,  in this notion of a vital force of nature we are far from the kind of empiricism which has dominated the Anglo-American world and which expressly shuns any taint of metaphysics and mysticism.  Again as I said somewhere, the philosophies of a defeated nation are buried along with its gods.  Vitalism of Schelling and Driesch have shared this fate.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-05-19 15:19:10)

Re: 36. OPENNESS AND FORMLESSNESS: FIRST CONTRADICTION

FROM TECHNOLOGY TO SOCIETY.   "Man is a tool making animal."  This phrase from Ben Franklin now sounds almost trite.  We are speaking, though, of the species Homo sapiens as an animal whose distinctive behavior is in its technics.  The first real break toward the human species came in the line of animal descent with the Australopithecus, who was the first being known to use and depend upon tools.  This is Anthropology 101.  This is said by me over fifty years in my Introduction class three times a year.  Never however do I pass from anthropology to Philosophical Anthropology; that is my task now.   As we proceed to the kinds of things asserted in Philosophical Anthropology the matter of technics passes beyond the scope of mere academic anthropology.  We cannot raise the issue of technics without introducing the arcane "German" notions of dialectic and contradiction.  This latter study brings tool use, among other behaviors, into relationships with more general phenomena, in the present case the notion of species as a definite form.  The etymological dictionary makes the point that species means a special or species-ial form.  At the historical or temporal point of the first technology, however, Homo sapiens, already with the distinctive traits that distinguish this species from other such groups, begins to in some very real way turn against itself.  Between culture and biology there is a contradiction and one, we will show, that compels resolution.  That is, if we say a species is a definitely formed group--special or spec-ial (as in a species)--the technology that this group employs contradicts the very idea of species.  Technology is precisely the strategy of survival wherein the human species, or any species potentially, can break through or over its spec-ial boundaries.  I said earlier in this blog that the tool extends the arm.  That is a fundamental ability humans have, to reach beyond the confines of their morphology.  Of course the tool can be specialized and thereby expand upon the traits that a human being has by virtue of species.  In general, however, a specialized tool is artgemaess, as in the etymology of special:  of or pertaining to a species.  Technology as a general way of life extends the abilities the species Homo sapiens in general.  This particular species, alone of all species, through its behavior can break out of and move beyond the confines defined by genetics and biological morphology.  The human being has created for himself a generality that breaks outside the boundaries of species specificity.  Arms and legs are genetically constituted specializations; through the agency of the stick, a product of human intelligence, this arm becomes a broad range--a generality--of possible applications. I cannot stress enough that the boundedness of a biological form is critical to the orientation of that being.  How a being is formed determines how that being will behave, even how it will think.  Thus the form of the flea, say, is also the intelligence of the flea.  Into this secure natural world the human being breaks with his boundary-breaking technology.  We are clear on the overall picture; not so clear on the particulars.  Still, the issue of human versus animal behavior is not as complex as it sounds; we will try to simplfy.   The human being lives ex-centrically, in the word of Plessner.   The various Philosophical Anthropologists that there are speak of this unbound, free-of-species, character of the human species through the objects--tools--of its own creation.  Plessner and Gehlen have stated this case clearly.  But we want to understand more.  Under Force Theory it is stated that through his own technology, precisely, by creating something that is the opposite of spec-ial (of the species), the human being has become "general."   General in this context means the opposite of specia or species-ial.

Through technics the human being becomes not species-ial, at all, but boundless.  He is the unchained Prometheus.  The human being through technics, by living in and through his own technological prowess, loses the definition given him by biology.  The simple fact of the tool, a mere stick, say, in the hands of being otherwise dependent on his biological strength, breaks through all the form that biology has bestowed upon him, leaving him--because the mere stick is the possibility of all behaviors and forms whatsoever--with no sense of personal boundaries or secure morphology.  Technology as the generality of human behavior is a formless creation; and human beings as technological beings are formless beings.  We may state this unequivocally.  Humans are aware of this loss, apparently; what the animal knows instinctively--what it is to itself--the human being does not know.  A certain "ethical crisis" arises.  The primary loss of a human being in becoming human, that is techological, is a loss of form and definition.  The human being as the being that he is is timeless and spaceless and formless.  We may speak of a certain "identity crisis" that is unique to the human:  not knowing who he is.   As I say, we are at the prehistoric level, now, where humans have risen to the bare fact of technology; but they have not yet acquired language and all the agreements and institutions that go with language and shared knowledge.  This awaits a further evolutionary progress in the brain and intelligence.  We are stating that this secondary evolution, in the cerebral cortex, appeared as an adaption to the tool itself.  The primary purpose of language and intelligence, simply stated, is to recreate form to counteract the formlessness brought on by technics.  The human being begins now to form, or reform, his entire existence.  Through intelligence--and this required another one or two million years of biological evolution--the forms that appeared out of artifical or technical behaviors, that were often unrestrained and lopsided, were brought into a general pattern wherein these artificial forms became consistent with one another.  A new species--or "kind" or special form--came about; but this was an artificial one of the human's own creation.  In effect the human being created a species in vague imitation of the old one, but a species that was artificial.  I am speaking of so-called humanity.  The human being spoken of in the sacred documents of civilization is in effect a fictional character.  This is a fiction humans need, however, as a moral guide.  I stress at this point "morality":   the moral codes that there are are simply orienting principles in the face of the earlier, otherwise formless man-created world of technology.

Herbert Marcuse speaks of the "open society."  We allow, indeed, that this is an appropriate expression and one we can use here.  The question raised presently, however, is this:  does openness preclude form?   And if there is a contradiction--a conflict that precludes human life--between the open society and the formed society, how is this contradiction resolved?  How, or upon what terms, is it possible for human life to continue?  Technology is presently the focus of our inquiry.   Technology is both open and formed.  We aver that the entire issue of the closed versus the open society came about, and has been debated with furor and violence since perhaps the beginnings of human time, is the result of the paradox of the tool:  that the tool is both open and formed.  We can dwell on this paradox.  Human morphology and instinct, we say, is formed and so far as they are formed they are not open.  The human body is formed; so are instincts so far as they are present in human life.  In the case of the morphology and instincts of any animal the fact of form logically makes impossible any thought of openness.  But there is more. When the human being acquired technology, the possibilities of his life were for all intents and purposes infinite.  Even while human morphology is fixed according to certain needs and conditions, man's technology is open.  What does openness mean here and does openness preclude form?  The answer we give for technology is entirely different than the one we give for genetically-set human species traits.  A tool is formed by man, intentionally, for a certain purpose.  The form of the tool, as to whether it satisfies the man who made it, is apraised in terms of the success it has in performing its task.  The tool-maker can modify or even abandon this tool; this fact, that the tool can be re-formed, constitutes the "openness" of the tool.  A tool or artifact is open-in-concept.  That is, even though the form of the individual tool is set, tools-in-general and open;  in the mentality of tool making and tool use there is from the outset the premise that the tool is subject to change and rejection.  Of course such adaptibility of the tool-in-concept or technics as a generality is of great advantage to the possessor of the tool.  The world is "open" to the man that holds the tool.  A mentality of progress takes hold of the human being and propells him down the road of civilization.  Civilization in these terms can be described as the "opening" of the possibilities inherent in the smallest stick used as a tool.  I want to clarify something else.  The tool may leverage human effort in some one direction; we call this process specialization.  The specialization of the tool and the progressive enhancement of some one line of human effort is something we talked about earlier as "leveraging."   The point presently, however, is the fact that the tool can be specialized in one direction or the other, and accordingly take on a specialized form to match that specialization.  But the mentality of technics in general is not specialized, on the contrary it is "open."  Technology is both specialized in one direction or the other and pliable in many directions. 

At some point in history human beings began to live their lives, and have their interpersonal relationships, through the technology that they possessed.  Engels highlights this point in speaking of the clan as a work group, given the limited technology they had at hand, and the dissolution of the clan through the newer machines of mass production.  We have spoken of Engels earlier as a great forerunner of Force Theory (despite his challenge of Duehring).  The clan was replaced by terms of mass human organization and disorganization.  Society became, in the view of Engels, a place of ordnung here and anarchie in general.  I suggest that such a development of society, as both order and disorder, is the consequence of the inherent paradox of openness and form in technology.  Humans group themselves around the problems that they face.  If attacked by formidable enemies, they mass themselves in a military organization.  If no attack is immanent, they tend to relax their social standards.  The invention of a new machine, producing goods that everyone wants, prompts an organization of people into groups intersecting with the machines that make such goods.  This is the basic idea of economic science.  We suggest that the whole issue of capitalism versus socialism is beside the point of what we are talking about here.  Ownership, so-called, of the means of production has little to do with what the production is form.  Thus, if the capitalist (again so-called) takes possession of the "profit" of machines of production, the proletariate or broad masses of people take possession of the goods of mass production.  Machines produce goods on a mass basis, in other words, goods that are suited for the mass of consumers.  In the process of mechanization of production there is an irresistable process of standardization wherein the goods are suitable for a standardized consumer.  Consumers are "encouraged" to take on roles of one who is indifferent to the individuality of goods--art--and receptive to the mass quality of goods.  It is important to consider here that the overall direction of society, slow at first but then accelerating to a blind pace, is toward a formlessness that corresponds to what appeared in ancient, prehistoric times as an adaptibility and openness of the first technics.  The stick was "open"; and out of that openness bloomed the great rambling abstract entity of society as we know it. 

I speak now of society.  Society is a form imposed upon human life within the context of "open" technology.  We spoke earlier of Marcuse's term "open society."  I said the term was appropriate to what we are talking about here, and so it is.   But the term is wrong.   "Open society" is a contradiction in terms.  Society exists to provide form for humans cohabiting  the universal and open technological entity we call civilization.  Technology itself provides no form or standards for humans living together; humans must contrive to provide these standards as an afterthought.  Through technology human life becomes "open"; now humans must close this life.  Society is the resolution of the contradiction between openness of technological cooperation and the ensuing formlessness of group life.  We need not emphasize--it is an obvious fact--that the forms of nature exist for the purpose of function.  It is not too much to suggest that a formless nature would be a contradiction in terms.  Human life does not depart from nature and the need for form just by virtue of being human.  I think much philosophy, including Philosophical Anthropology, makes this mistake.    I am going to make the sweeping statement that society is inherently, by definition, oppressively socialistic.  Engels--who was by admission an authoritarian socialist--was right.   The temporary forms of order that appeared within the factory system, that integrated humans with machines, could be and must be organized on a universal basis to make the entire society, in effect, a machines.  Otherwise, given the "anarchy of production," humans become destructive toward one another.  Society itself, and every human being through society, is socialistic.  If the word democracy is applied to the concept of socialism, as it is, democracy is simply beside the point.  Society is a forced, coercive form imposed on the anarchy of human relationships that appear by virtue of the "openness" and lack of form of technology-in-general.  It is through the social phase of human life, and the imposition of a form AFTER the rise of technology as an open material and human group relationship, that human existence begins to contradict the purpose of nature--to produce a higher living form.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-05-21 15:43:23)

Re: 36. OPENNESS AND FORMLESSNESS: FIRST CONTRADICTION

At the risk of seeming merely glib and simplistic, I may say this:   man creates society; nature creates man.  It cannot be stated too emphatically:  man does not create himself.   Man builds a society in the same way he builds many things.   So confident is the human being in this creative prowess that he imagines that he has built himself.   Philosophical Anthropology has fed this belief, unfortunately, saying "man must learn how to be human."  PA needed the correction of Force Theory.  We are saying as a basic tenant of Force Theory that a human being knows by virtue of millions of years of biological evolution how to be human.  In fact--and to this we may attribute a lack of interest in Philosophical Anthropology--the average person finds nothing problematic or strange about his existence.  A person does not have to know everything about being human; he needs only to know certain basics.  It would seem that a human being comes into the world the same way any animal appears, through genetics.  He has of course the capacity to create culture; but he does not himself create this capacity.  The capacity for society and culture is bred into him.   In any case the issue is complex.  The failure of much philosophy, I say, from Plato onwards, is to assume just this, that man is his own creation.  This idea gives human beings a false sense of their own power.  We move onl at this point to the more complex issues of mind and culture.  Many assumptions have been made in traditional philosophy; PA has not escaped these.  Platonism puts mind in some sort of cosmic space; man merely "participates" in this cosmic intelligence.  Always, and at all times, human beings have been more or less mystified with their own intelligence.  At issue is the precise connection between a human being, as a phenomenon of evolution, and on the other hand his own intelligence.  Intelligence can and does create an image of man; and that image is not biological.   At the center of this controversy is the issue of mind as an "open" reality.   Mind we know is "open," in Scheler's terms. 

Scheler was right, simply, when the argument is about mind; because it is true, simply, that the mind is open.  In the definition of mind is the assumption of openness.  And if mind is open, so also society can be open; because society is a product of mind.  Herbert Marcuse saw this possibility.  But the human being himself, or something within him that controls how he lives, is not open.  It is simply true that, even as the person opens himself to the world around him, he closes himself from within.  This idea--that the human being must live within certain limits overwhich he has no control--has long been the assumption of conservative and protfascist ideologies.   We accept that assumption here.  This was the prevailing idea in Western philosophy through Kant and even to this day.  Mind is an area of limitless possibilities both as regards goals and the creative resources to realize these goals.  The human being can both imagine a universal and equalitarian human world; and, on the other hand, he can bring his practical knowledge to bear on this challenge.  We are not in doubt about the expansive and elastic abilities of mind.  So far, Force Theory accepts current and past Idealist philosophy.  The disagreement appears, however, when it is assumed that mind is of the human being.  There is no need to doubt the fact that the mind of an animal is the animal's own mind.  We are not playing word games here.  On the other hand, the history of the human being as a technological animal has rendered the fact of human life vastly more complex.  Mind, if this is a human mind we are talking about, has the same "ex-centricity" as tools and technics themselves.  The mind in these terms is more a tool than an organ.  We have discussed this matter earlier.  The assumption, on the other hand, that because man harbors mind he controls mind--and everything around mind that derives from mind.  This assumption is natural in the face of the complicated facts of the matter.  The human being, unlike animals, lives in a world of confusion.   He is led down the path of anthropocentric and visionary social experiments. Liveralistic and conservative ideologies and theories of society fall into essentially the same errors.  Liberal views focus on mind and say mind is open.  That is a correct view.  Conservatives tend to think there are limits on thinking as such; but there are none.  But even as mind is open, man is not.  Man comes into contradiction with his own mind as an open reality.     I might point out the error of conservative points of view has been in not recognizing the openness of mind and assuming, on the contrary, that mind is a fixed reality automatically in tune with (what we are calling) nature.  Mind is visionary and its powers of imagination are limited.   Where the mistake of both liberalistic and conservative views is, I aver, is in the thought that mind is ohne weiteres of man.  It is not. 

Ludwig Klages was a radical in believing that mind constitutes an "alien" force in relation to man.   He was an extremist but close to the mark.   Mind in the view of Klages intrudes from  outside the human being, from a location outside the human in cosmic space, and "invades" him as would a demon or invisible spaceman or something like that.   Such extremism came at last, in the 20s and 30s, into German philosophy.   Into this climate of extremism came Philosophical Anthropology, bent as it was in resolving the more or less "mystical" conceptions of the German radicals.    What is being said presently, as a postion appropriate to Philosophical Anthropology and Force Theory, is that mind is a reflex--materializing over a period of three million years of biological evolution--of human tool use.  I want to briefly review one or two assumptions of philosophical anthropology.  Let us say we find a tooth and hold it up for inspection.  From that tooth we can infer many things about the original owner of the tooth, that, for instance, it was a meat eater but did not use the tooth for attack or defense--it was using some other organ or object to defend itself or kill prey.  We may infer the existence of tools.  This is a conclusion that is legitimately scientific; here we can claim hard science.  But we do necessarily not stop at this point but continue to speculate.  Gradually the hard science we began with gravitates into what SE Parker attributed to the present writer:  "soft science and German metaphysics."    Ultimately we wind up in the area of Scheler, Plessner and Gehlen, the great Philosophical Anthropologists.  These men were philosophers.  Their speculation in the area of "the essence of man" had gone far beyond their grasp of the empirical facts of the case.   That is where we are now, unabashedly and unapologetically.  We ask that science keep up with us, not the other way around.   At this point of our discussion, clearly professing our love of philosophy over love of science, we may say, simply, that mind derives from tools as concepts and objects of use.  In other words, tools made or produced the mind, not the reverse.   In that case, resolving this issue of mind in the simplest way possible, we can logically say that mind is not of man, really, if we understand man to be one being among many which or who has descended, in the usual way, from generation to generation "in a state of nature."  Before tools there was already the prototype of man in body and psyche; then came tool use, then came the brain and mind.  There is nothing here that requires further explanation.  Where Force Theory picks up this discussion is at the point where, vaguely or precisely, the (we may say) the rather stupid humanoid prototype comes into collision, and is simply baffled by, his (or its) own mind.  The tool was a miracle for this being.  Mind was even more a miracle and doubly puzzling.  The human being now consisted of a brilliant mind and a rather plodding, even animalistic, prototype of psychology and morphology.    We may offer the paradox that the human being has never really understood his own mind and he regards this mind, with Klages, as basically alien to his more secure psychology and instincts. 

We turn to instinct.  This is a question that has plagued psychology in particular but which Philosophical  has until now, with Force Theory, written off with such phrases as ex-centriciity and mangelwesen (creature of deficiency).  Psychologists of course would tend nowadays to disagree with academic and liberalistic anthropologists, who disparage the very idea of instinct.   Conservative anthropologists, few that there are, believe in instincts but are not convincing in answering their "radical" challengers.   Force Theory says that the human being does have instincts, in fact, for those instincts that have atrophied during the evolutional period of human technology, there are new and vital instincts that appear.  The human being is "open" to new learning.  Yet the physical brain that enables this learning must be nurtured and laboriously cared for after the birth of the individual being.  The human child is helpless and requires parents to look after it.  The human brain takes time, years and even decades, to reach average capacity; during this time the being remains a child and helpless.   Nature (as we call the cosmos from which we all appear) does not leave this parenting, or the inclination for it, to the volition or will of humans themselves but provides them, rather, with instincts to carry out this plan.  Here, in other words, the human being is not at all "open," in Scheler's word, but is quite "closed."   In another work, much earlier in my career, Utopia of the Instincts, I discuss the importance of instincts of parenthood, seeing them as a "stumbling block" for all social experimentation; these instincts resolve themselves, in conflict with agents of social change, into ideas of race.  This work has anticipated what I have to say here under the heading Force Theory (this photo-offset printing, done in Charleston at my expense, is still available on the internet; my friend Robert Lenski has some copies under his service Grendl Press).

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-05-24 19:37:42)