Topic: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-08-23 12:44:21)

Re: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

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

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

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

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-09-09 13:54:23)

Re: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

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

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

Re: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

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

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

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

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-08-18 14:26:24)

Re: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

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

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

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

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

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-08-20 14:57:15)

Re: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

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

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

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

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

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-08-21 15:00:11)

Re: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

Re: 40. THE GOOD AND RACE AS ADVERSARIAL WILLS

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

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

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

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-08-29 14:22:27)