Topic: 9.RACE AND NEGATION

The human being, but not the animal, has a self concept and this concept is of a never-changing or eternal soul.   Philosophical Anthropology has been a late arrival into the discussion of the human soul; but PA's main accomplishment has been to strip from religion what is extraneous to religion--its magic and myths--while leaving the central idea of the soul.  In this Philosophical Anthropology has not been different than animism, the world's oldest religion, a simple belief in souls and spirits.  The notion of the "essence of man" I would suggest is simply a continuation of the ancient idea of an eternal soul.  This is an idea basic to human speculation.  Where we pick up the discussion presently is to relate the idea of the soul to something else that is unique to human life:  technology.  This line of thinking began for me at Tubingen  University under mentorship of Otto Friedrich Bullnow, professor of Philosophical Anthropology.  There are many convoluted twists and turns to my progress to my present point of view, some of them outside the realm of PA and rooted more in the conservative views of Schopenhauer, Spengler and Nietzsche.   All were occupied by the idea of some sort of human "essence" which they did not call soul but which "in essence" could just as well be called an essence.   In any case, what we are saying at the outset of this essay is that the soul is the idea of the human being--the object of striving and the being to be defended in the face of threatening nature--as human thought becomes the thought of technology.  This thought is dialectical.  For the moment in the place of "dialectical" we may use simply, for purposes of argument, the word confusing.   Technics as I will show confuse the entire issue, not only of the human relation with nature, and the notions of means and ends, but the issue of man's relation with himself.  By thinking about the world technologically the human has ended in thinking about himself, in effect, technologically. That is he thinks about himself in terms of means and ends.   For the animal there is no such thing as an end or goal.  For a technological line of activity, on the other hand, each technical process has an end or goal.  The human simply begins to think of himself as a goal.  This goal we call a soul, the basis of animism and all religion.   As our argument is presently developing, this idea of the soul may be a necessary consequence of the mode of life of the human, which is technological.

Survival means for the animal nothing more than being afraid.  We raise here the issue of the purposefulness of an animal, which is the basis of the animal's self-preservation, and the utter purposelessness of technology.  This distinction between purpose and purposelessness forms the contradiction at the basis of the dialectic movement between living humans and their own technics.  Technology is the world within which the human being lives; but this has no inherent soul as technology.   For the moment we will consider survival as a universal phenomenon of life.  There is something there that the animal fears; the animal evades that thing.  In so doing the animal lives another day.  This is an act by the animal which assumes the animal's existence.    Yet this same existence is by no means represented in a mind.  The animal that we are talkng about, which we concede is often a hypothetical animal, is simply mindless.  Such an absolute or abstract or hypothetical being allows us to simplify our argument.    The human idea of self-preservation is something a great deal more.   First there must be to start with an idea of the self.    We may speak where humans are concerned of metaphysical fear:  fear of the extinction of the soul, which is oblivion.   This is a largely theoretical idea that is mediated through his   technological mode of life.  And technology has fundamentally no sense of its own survival because technology has for itself no purpose or inherent direction.  Again, in our philosophical-anthropological way of thinking we place ideas and thoughts, essentially, first outside the human being before they become encoded in mind per se.  To be able to represent in mind or the brain an idea that has appeared already in technological action requires perhaps several million years of genetic evolution.  But the human being was "smart" long before he had a smart brain.  We are saying that the idea of the soul evolves as a consequence of technics as a faux purpose of technics.   This idea was slow in coming, only insofar as technics itself, as it developed in complexity, began to contradict itself:  technics began to fail as a result of the complexity of its action in the face of its absence of purpose and direction.

The idea of the human soul derives, we are saying, from a technological way of acting.  The tool, or tool use, produces the idea of a soul as a necessary obverse side of technology, which in itself is pointless.  The pointlessness of technology contradicts the purposefulness of the life that humans inherit from their animal past.  Human life, as animal life, has a purpose which is life itself.  Of course it can be questioned whether life itself has a purpose; there is a point reached here beyond which we cannot inquire further.  We are lost in the vast mystery of life and being.  Still, while having no purpose in itself, technics needs a purpose or, in other words, a direction.  For the word purpose we can substitue, for our essay here, the word directoion.  But whether a purpose or direction technology needs a technological point to act, a goal which is not simply proximate to some immediate need but is a general guideline for action.  We are beginning to wander through the highways and byways of world philosophical speculation; I have introduced the notion of contradiction or "dialectics" into our discussion, which draws heavily on Hegelianism with a strong side look at (likewise German) philosophical anathropology.  I have already referred to my (for an American) rather strong credentials in Philosophical Anthropology as a student, as I was, at Tubingen University.  All these experiences have led by degrees and phases to the conclusions detailed here.    I suggest that the "purpose" of which I speak, in most general terms, is the soul of the human being.  We could, feigning some semblance of scientific respectibility, call this soul an "essence of Man."  In any case, we have created a faux or ersatz purpose for a technology which has no purpose.   So, in this sense, we have given some credence to our thesis, propounded throughout this blog, that the source of human thinking and human values is in the technological mode of human life that is not inherent in life but is acquired, externally, by life.    There is a paradox.   Technology is a soulless thing; but that is precisely the point of what we are saying.  Technology, in categorically contradicting the purpose of life--technics has no purpose--must then contradict itself by creating, artificially, a purpose for itself.  This purpose is the soul.     

There has been a broad spectrum of thinking within economic theory and outside it that the "essential man" or "essence of Man"  is a practical man.  The man who thinks first of material security is more real than one's fellow university professors and such, who are above such interests.  This idea by economists who themselves were academians was supposed to shock one's colleagues.  Thus, in these terms, the artist or intellectual or philosopher is a faux man, while the workaday spiesburger is solely the one who is "real."  But we suggest here that there is no such thing as a "practical man" except as a fabrication of economic theory.  Force Theory is a more general theory of human existence.   And the idea of a so-called practical man--so dear to Engels and other economists--is hereby called a shallow fabrication.  Certainly Force Theory rejects such an idea.  Rather, what is called the practical man is the consequence of a technological way of thinking.  The practical man is a person set in the context of a technological--as opposed to a basic biological--way of life.  The practicality of the person in this context is not a relation he has with himself, as serving himself, directly, so much as serving the system for which he works.  The person is defined in terms of the work he does for the system and, in return, the rewards for this service.  Such a practical man does not serve himself without first serving the system.  Engels weakly asserts that selfish endeavor is part of human nature; but he defines that endeavor solely in terms of service to "mankind."   Work itself (we are saying) would also be such an artificial concept.  Oswald Spengler spoke of the "tactics of living."  This militaristic way of thinking is closer to what we are saying here.  In any case, the simple seminal act of using a tool, if only a stick or stone, set in motion a process of action which resulted, finally, several millions of years later, in a process of thinking.  So, if we are to understand practicality in any terms it must be as an activity in which individual needs are subordinated to broader technological interests.   These interests already, at an early period of human culture, collective ones.  Individual needs were simply lost in the confusion of group needs and cooperative technical activities.  How--and this is what interests us as philosophical anthropologists--did the human self-concept arise?   We may imagine, hypothetically, the earliest human being contemplating himself.  We could just as well say this never happened.  The view--the Philosophical Anthropology, we could say--of a man of himself would be direct and unaffected by the tools in his hands.   This view (and I am confident I'm using this word accurately) would be phenomenological, or direct intuition of oneself.  All activities that were external, on the other hand, blended into one another.  Hunting was coextensive with defending one's hunting territory from intruders.  What led the human being  to a uniquely human point of view was the use of a tool or weapon in the hunt or fight.  The tool began to define the man.  The man saw himself, finally, through the technics in his hand.  Certainly the tool and, on the other hand, the man were understood by the man to be separate from one another, even while conjoined.  What conjoined the person with his tools was necessity; he could not get along without his tools.  The separation such as it was between a man and his artifact was categorical:  it led to an entire train of thinking, which resulted, finally, in a self-concept.  Survival itself came to mean something when this concept was mediated through technology.  What resisted extinction was a being defined by the technology this being used.  Animals were different in this respect, since the activity whereby they resisted death was by no means separated from the being itself which resisted death.  The "practical man" of modern economic theory, on the other hand, is defined through the industrial system in which he works.  And therefore, just as his survival is so defined, so the man himself is defined, as,  we are saying, a soul.  The soul is the invention, or rather the reinvention, of the human being of himself in the context of the technology of his living.   

The soul is a stipulated unchanging essence in the overal context of a world of practical activity which not only is changing, but contradicts itself.  In technics the means to one thing is the end of something else.  The chain of understanding between means and ends is much greater in a human than it is in an animal.  At the end of an animal's chain of thinking there is only rest and oblivion.  At the end of a human line of thinking, as this thinking is mediated through phases of technological logic, the end goal of the thinking is uncertainty.  It is not known if a goal has been achieved, really, or a new phase of striving has just begun.  This is the human situation particularly in the industrial world.  We maiy go on to talk about issues that are more clearly anthropological and where academic anthropology has something to say.  I am speaking of culture, a word I have not cared to use often on account of its vagueness.  The human being has produced, or has attempted to produce, a world around him that protects himself from a menacing world of nature.  But his insecurity is more than that of an animal; in addition to fearing death, the human being fears oblivion.  That is the death of the soul or unchanging human essence.    Culture is what we call this man-made world which the human puts between himself and nature.  The culture that protects man from change also depicts this man--culture's object or goal--as a perfect being.  The word for perfection that has come down to us through tradition is "soul."

The human being has a "soul." This is only to say that there is something in the human being which the human protects as the person that he is.  This soul is a refined view that the human has of himself after his thought has been processed through technology.   Technology confuses in the human mind what is means and what is ends; the religious notion of the soul "clarifies" this confusion, if only by defining artificially what the human being is.  This human being to emerge as himself an extension of his own technology is what he defends, as though his "survival" means the survival of the soul.  For the animal there is only the body to defend; and fear itself and a sense of vulnerability of the individual organism is what defines the animal's self concept.  The human being processes his self-image through culture.  The religious idea of the eternal soul stabilizes the self-perception that is confused through technology.   And this "essence" constitutes the final objective of culture, to, that is, protect this soul and ensure its survival.  But there is more.    Not only outside man but within him there is another world that asserts itself for change and evolution.   And against it there is no real defense.  Human culture and society, on the other hand, are intended to thwart nature and evolution.  This--society--is no mere struggle for survival.    An animal exerts itself with teeth and claws to defend itself when attacked; this is the everyday struggle of the individual being just to survive that day.    The human being strives, through culture, to perpetuate himself for all eternity.    This bias, we are saying, is built into the very idea of tool use and culture in general.   We look ahead in time to ask what is the future of mankind.  Nature for its part is looking beyond the presently existing human species for, that is, something or someone higher.  Nietzsche has forcast this eventuality.  In introducing this section it is useful to point out the close connection between our own point of view and a field of speculation developed in Germany, beginning about 1920, called Philosophical Anthropology. 

We are presently by no means constrained to work entirely within or around the modus operendi of this field and its creators, particularly Scheler, Plessner and Gehlen.  I have spoken of these (for us) auspicious personages before.  PA as the word suggests has feet planted both in anthropology and philosophy.  A search by google will show that there are various approaches to PA, for instance a Christian philosophical anthropology.  I want to characaterize mainstream PA as being truly philosophical but "reaching out" to science.   Indeed, Christians and existentialists and philosophers of all sorts have "reached out" to science.  But they shortly throw all scientific respectibility and caution to the wind and sail off into their own regeions.  Ideally we should all be scientific, because to be scientific means to be true.  My own point of view is that the reader should be advised that what is being said presently, or passed off as Philosophical Anthropology, does not stand on principles of scientific or academic respectability.  Our view is that science should be brought in to prove the points of philosophy, not vice versa.  On the other hand, we definitely challenge the various brands of speculation that there are out there, if only to say that they are as we are, only unprovable speculati

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-06-16 14:59:39)

Re: 9.RACE AND NEGATION

In the "use" of an object as a tool is contained a contradiction.  The used thing we call the tool may be both an object and a subject.  The tool is an extension of the body, hence is subjective; but the tool is also an extension of the object it attains, hence, is an object.   This subjectivity versus objectivity of the tool produces a "dynamic effect."  I am getting a bit ahead of myself in my argument.  Briefly the matter is as simple as this:  the tool tends to cancel itself out.  But in contradicting itself on one level, the tool raises itself to a new and higher level by resolving this earlier contradiction.  But there is another issue.  By using the tool, the tool user tends to contradict himself.  I search for examples that are clear.  It must suffice to say presently that any thing that the human possesses may be an end in itself or a means to some further end.  An animal does not have such a complicated or self-contradictory perspective.  The whole process of thought for an animal begins with the perception of a goal, and ends with the acquisition of that goal.  Means and end are connected through instinct.  With the human being, on the other hand, means and ends are concepts which have a shaddowy and elusive status within the object considered as a tool.   The use value of this value as means can contradict its object-value.  In short, humans pursue goals that began as means to goals.  What for animals was simple--that means are means, and ends are ends--is for humans complex.  An animal understands its body solely as a means, and the objectives which it pursue are only ends.  The human being at any moment of life does not know whether he is pursuing means or ends or something between.  This is particularly true as humans enter into collective relationships.  These contradictions--we might also say massive confusions of means and ends--seem to demand resolution.  In the contradiction between human subjectivity and human goal-orientation appears the idea of the human soul, the perenial idea of religion, as the goal of all goals.  This is the fixed characater of the human being, or the human "essence" or human "nature."  Oscar Wilde was wrong in saying (de Profundus) that human nature is always changing.  Humans themselves say there is only one human nature and that never changes.  This is not science but religion.  What we are saying, in anticipation of our later argument, that while humans regard survival as saving their essence for all time, evolution moves forward to produce higher forms.  Thus existing man, fixed by society and culture, only stands in the way of this more general biological and cosmic purpose.

Survival means for the animal nothing more than being afraid.  We raise here the issue of the purposefulness of an animal, which is the basis of the animal's self-preservation, and the utter purposelessness of technology.  This distinction between purpose and purposelessness forms the contradiction at the basis of the dialectic movement between living humans and their own technics.  Technology is the world within which the human being lives; but this has no inherent soul as technology.   For the moment we will consider survival as a universal phenomenon of life.  There is something there that the animal fears; the animal evades that thing.  In so doing the animal lives another day.  This is an act by the animal which assumes the animal's existence.    Yet this same existence is by no means represented in a mind.  The animal that we are talkng about, which we concede is often a hypothetical animal, is simply mindless.  Such an absolute or abstract or hypothetical being allows us to simplify our argument.    The human idea of self-preservation is something a great deal more.   First there must be to start with an idea of the self.    We may speak where humans are concerned of metaphysical fear:  fear of the extinction of the soul, which is oblivion.   This is a largely theoretical idea that is mediated through his   technological mode of life.  And technology has fundamentally no sense of its own survival because technology has for itself no purpose or inherent direction.  Again, in our philosophical anthropological way of thinking we place humans, essentially, first outside the human being before they become encoded in mind per se.  The idea of the human soul derives, we are saying, from a technological way of acting.  The tool, or tool use, produces the idea of a soul as a necessary obverse side of technology, which in itself is pointless.  The pointlessness of technology contradicts the purposefulness of the life that humans inherit from their animal past.  Human life, as animal life, has a purpose which is life itself.  Of course it can be questioned whether life itself has a purpose; there is a point reached here beyond which we cannot inquire further.  We are lost in the vast mystery of life and being.  Still, while having no purpose in itself, technics needs a purpose or, in other words, a direction.  For the word purpose we can substitue, for our essay here, the word directoion.  But whether a purpose or direction technology needs a technological point to act, a goal which is not simply proximate to some immediate need but is a general guideline for action.  We are beginning to wander through the highways and byways of world philosophical speculation; I have introduced the notion of contradiction or "dialectics" into our discussion, which draws heavily on Hegelianism with a strong side look at (likewise German) philosophical anathropology.  I have already referred to my (for an American) rather strong credentials in Philosophical Anthropology as a student, as I was, at Tubingen University.  All these experiences have led by degrees and phases to the conclusions detailed here.    I suggest that the "purpose" of which I speak, in most general terms, is the soul of the human being.  We could, feigning some semblance of scientific respectibility, call this soul an "essence of Man."  In any case, we have created a faux or ersatz purpose for a technology which has no purpose.   So, in this sense, we have given some credence to our thesis, propounded throughout this blog, that the source of human thinking and human values is in the technological mode of human life that is not inherent in life but is acquired, externally, by life.    There is a paradox.   Technology is a soulless thing; but that is precisely the point of what we are saying.  Technology, in categorically contradicting the purpose of life--technics has no purpose--must then contradict itself by creating, artificially, a purpose for itself.  This purpose is the soul.     

Tool use is an activity that includes a living body and an acquired object that extends that body.  I do not think at this point we need quibble about definitions.  The general point to be made here, as basic to Force Theory, is that this tool use is in itself "intelligent" without any reference being made to a brain or any higher sort of mental organization.  Intelligence, in this view, is prior to the brain itself.   What is intelligent in tool use is the tool use itself which, as having both biological and non-biological components, is not biological.   The fact that tool use has a non-biological component compels us to say that intelligence itself is not dependent on a brain.  Of course, we are not speaking of a tool itself apart from its use, the tool being a non-living thing and not capable by itself, without receiving directions from a living source, of any action whatsoever.  The tool by itself is not intelligent; it is simply a lifeless thing.  But the use of the tool, as we say, is not only action but intelligent action.  The intelligence that the tool has is acquired, we are saying, from the paradoxical relation that the tool has with its user.  The user's sense of means and ends has been bred into him through millions of years of evolution; but the tool itself is both means and ends.   That paradoxical relation is that the tool is both a means and a goal end.  My usual rule in developing material is not to place difficult concepts back to back.  I will break that rule here.  Here we are saying that, the tool as used object takes on a "categorical" or "dialectical" so-called mentality.  The mental processes that can be described as higher thought, that are revealed as what we call human intelligence, are prefigured in the "inner tension" of the tool as used object.  We may look at the behavior of animals.  For an animal, the means is clearly means and the end is clearly an end.   There is a smooth course of action between the animal's sighting of a food-object and, on the other hand, the acquisition of that end through an extension of biological appendages (and so forth).  The animal's transition begun through organic action and ending in the ingestion of food is a logically consistent progression between action and reaction.    This behavior is the result of millions of years of genetic and instinctual experimentation.   The tool as both means and ends together contradicts the human menality as a logical separation of means and ends.  Insofar as tool use becomes intelligence, the intelligence that there is--connecting means and ends--is self-contradictory.   The human being puruses means as ends and ends as means.   Lest the individual lose all consistent and rational behavior,  these contradictory actions must however be resolved into new actions and new thoughts.  Finally, the paradoxes and contradictions in thinking and acting through tools and tool use are resolved by what we call here "absolutes."   These are essentially artificial ideas that are "posited"--or simply declared without establishing a basis--in order to give consistency to human action.  Such an idea is the soul.  The soul here is understood as a goal of human action in the face of the paradoxical technological action.  Instead of an animal being that acts without thinking, with itself as the instinctive or non-mental object of that action, the human being acts toward goals that are the result of the contradictoryness of technical action.  The human being is "by nature" uncertain; religion, and its idea of the soul, establishes that certainty--uncertainly.     

The Good is the way the human being resolves the contradictions--the lack of distinction between subject and object--inherent in technology, which is the human being's main mode of life.  The eternal Platonic Good is man himself.  The soul in man, or essence, is perpetuated through culture, not as an animal fights for his own life but as a category of being, or an eternal value.  For man culture is more than mere animal survival, day to day,  it is a means of perpetuation of his species for eternity.  There is a point where practical everyday activity becomes religion.  We have crossed that line when we speak of the "objective" or goal of culture.  This is what culture means for man. But where human beings survive as "souls," nature regards such beings--since they are established hypothetically for eternity--as obstacles.  They are like stones in the path of a river.    For nature, then, culture is a temporary impasse in the way of evolutionary ascent towards higher species and, finally, of a higher kind of being than man presently exists. This--the finished and perfect nature of the human "essence"--is the basis of social theory.  Therefore, what remains to be accomplished in human history is simply the realization of this essence.  I want to stress at this point the "fixed" characater of human ideology--and here fixed means anti- and counter-evolutionary philosophy.  That the human being is perfected means that evolution itself is impossible.  Assuming that evolution is still possible, it goes without saying that such development--in that it now departs from the idea of "the Good"--is actually evil.  The surprising conclusion follows that the main issues of society are at root anthropological.  Any questions about social policy are diversionary and apart from real issues.  Socialism or for that matter so-callled Individualism never were revolutionary ideas because they never took up the question of Man.  These ideologies made certain assumptions about the "nature of Man" that always existed.  The communists were the worst in this regard; their "anthropology" was incredibly shallow.  Meanwhile Philosophical Anthropology, following World War II, took up a position in the discussion of society that was theoretically dangerous:  the discipline was directed at the basis of society, which is Man himself. The revolutionary potential of Philosophical Anthropology is not as a direct adversary of society, because PA has no army or organized resistance, but rather, simply, PA is a mode of thinking positioned to critique the existing conception of Man upon which society is based. 

We can set this point in the context of biological science.  The idea of Mankind is an abstraction--a fixed and "eternal" idea--whose factual source is a rough idea of the species Homo sapiens.  I stressed this point earlier.  But there is more.  Mankind is not Homo sapiens but a "moral" extrapolation from the species idea.   I have elsewhere shown that the idea of the human being is based on a species idea.  Moral finality is accomplished through the perfect examples of the human species, or Homo sapiens.   Human culture attempts to do more than "improve on nature"; it attempts to hamper nature.  As a mooring of a boat attempts to counter the flow of the river upon which the boat floats, human culture tries to fix the position of its central concern--existing human beings.  These being, as they are protected from the weather and natural elements, are protected also from change.  This is the sense of so-called self-domestication.  Humans do change their domestic animals, but actively keep their own species from changing.  Or the attempt is made.  Evolution is a river, as in Taoist religion, upon which all species are swept up and through which they must change, from lower forms to higher forms and even, sometimes, the reverse.  The idea of the present perfection of the human being, a most sacred idea in Western religion and politics, counters the Nietzschian premise that "mankind is something that will be surpassed."   We risk at this point in passing from the comfort and respectability to the (vaguely psychotic) ramblings of Nietzsche.  Still, there is a serious scientific point to be made.  Nature does not stand on religion, although man does.  Religion here is simly the "categorical" thinking that is the reflex of technological action; and religion is the outcome of the contradiction within technics of subject and object.  The goal of technology, as the resolutions of its inherent contradictions, is the soul of man eternalized. 

Elsewhere in this blog I have said that science has produced inescapable conclusions regarding human life and culture.  Religion, for its part, which always has had a sort of Philosophical Anthropology--a "conception or Wessensbegriff of man"--has "reached out" to science.  The political wars that there were, between the Church and intellectual community, have not been resolved; rather there has set in a period of accomodation, lasting perhaps even centuries, wherein religion and science show each other respect.  There has come to be a rather clear idea of the boundaries between science and religion, where science can hold sway and, on the other hand, religion can still reign.  The struggle between the two great areas of human understanding have by no means been a life and death struggle.  On the contrary, there is accomodation where there should be no accomodation on either side.  For instance, science should not incorporate morals and morality--the admonishion of humans to behave in this or that way toward one another--and religion should not claim to be scientific. (The American Anthropological Association Statement on Race [see google on] is a classic example of this science/morality mishmash.) Religion for its part changes facts to suit itself.  Into this great discussion, which has long gone on between the science of man and the religion of man has come something new--Philosophical Anthropology.  The basic sentiment bringing this discipline into being was perhaps to reconcile science and religion.  This is a mistaken premise.  Philosophy and science simply do not mix well.  I am inclined to say, with no certainty, that they do not mix at all.  In any case, this reconciliation has not yet happened and PA is still consigned to the margins of intellectual life, with hardly any representation at all within universities or for established intellectual communities.  But PA still has a serious purpose.   I said this earlier.  The revolutionary potential of Philosophical Anthropology is not as a direct contradiction of society, because PA has no armed insurgent intention,  but rather, simply, PA is a mode of thinking positioned to critique the existing conception of Man upon which society is based.  The dimension of Man as an "eternal" entity, in the face of changing--and upwardly aspiring--biological nature is what PA calls into question.  The final conclusion, we are saying, of PA is that, in the words of Nietzsche, "man is something that will be surpassed."

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-06-16 14:35:03)

Re: 9.RACE AND NEGATION

Culture has built into it a bias to the effect that nature must change; the human being should not change.  This is an obvious fact that displays itself in all human behavior and thought.   Technical action adapts man's surroundings to  man,  so that man does not have to adapt to anything or change in any way.   This basic mentality of technology and culture in general has manifested itself over time in the programming of the human brain.  Humans attempt to change, through culture, the world around him.  The corresponding premise of this action is that a person is perfect the way he is.  This has been the human point of view since he has had tools and technology.  I want to raise here the notion of a human "soul" which is the perennial central point of religion.   It may be too early in this essay to suggest that the "soul" is the central idea of human thinking; that a god or diety is only a derivative idea.  The history of animism would suggest that the soul is prior to the idea of god, that, in other words, a god is simply a major soul.  A word may be said about the subject of the equality of humans.  There is agreement worldwide about the presence of some essence that all humans have, or seem to have, that joins them in sort of a community of sameness. But this sameness does not imply equality in all aspects of human nature.   Also widespread is the conviction that humans differ in personality and intelligence and in all sorts of ways.  The soul is what is the same in all humans, or so this thinking goes.  The danger here is that we will loose the thread of the main argument, which is such an idea--the soul--is a consequence of the mentality of technology.  That mentality is to change the "world" so that the human does not have to change himself.  The soul is these terms is rationalization of technological action upon--and against--the world.  Culture and technology are in an important sense a defense of human nature.   That the human being is, or should be, unchanging is what the notion of a human soul expresses.   Religion does not always see this soul as immortal, only that it is the "perfect" essence of man.  Humans vary on their opinions of the soul as immortal; they agree only in the view that this soul is the human essence itself, while culture, for its part, insulates this essence from change. Whole religions have been based on the idea of the soul.  Anthropologists recognize animism as the earliest religion and as the religion most widespread throughout the world.  Nort only primitive religions but world religions are basically animistic.   We cannot doubt the universality of the idea of the soul.  Where we are attempting to make progress in understanding this idea is in setting the idea in the context of human culture in general.  Culture is the human attempt to change the world around man himself.  The corollary of this mentality is that man himself does not have to change.  We conclude with the thought that culture is counter- or anti-evolutionary.  We are saying, in other words, that culture would simply inhibit or stop the evolutionary line of humans, ending such evolution in the "perfect" creature--the being with a soul--that the human is alledged to be.   

The human being, but not the animal, has a self concept and this concept is of a never-changing or eternal soul.  As our argument is presently developing, this idea of the soul may be a necessary consequence of the mode of life of the human, which is technological.  The soul is a stipulated unchanging essence in the overal context of a world of practical activity which not only is changing, but contradicts itself.  In technics the means to one thing is the end of something else.  The chain of understanding between means and ends is much greater in a human than it is in an animal.  At the end of an animal's chain of thinking there is only rest and oblivion.  At the end of a human line of thinking, as this thinking is mediated through phases of technological logic, the end goal of the thinking is uncertainty.  It is not known if a goal has been achieved, really, or a new phase of striving has just begun.  This is the human situation particularly in the industrial world.  We maiy go on to talk about issues that are more clearly anthropological and where academic anthropology has something to say.  I am speaking of culture, a word I have not cared to use often on account of its vagueness.  The human being has produced, or has attempted to produce, a world around him that protects himself from a menacing world of nature.  But his insecurity is more than that of an animal; in addition to fearing death, the human being fears oblivion.  That is the death of the soul or unchanging human essence.    Culture is what we call this man-made world which the human puts between himself and nature.  The culture that protects man from change also depicts this man--culture's object or goal--as a perfect being.  The word for perfection that has come down to us through tradition is "soul."  The human being has a "soul."  And this "essence" constitutes the final objective of culture, to, that is, protect this soul and ensure its survival.  But there is more.    Not only outside man but within him there is another world that asserts itself for change and evolution.   And against it there is no real defense.  Human culture and society, on the other hand, are intended to thwart nature and evolution.  This--society--is no mere struggle for survival.    An animal exerts itself with teeth and claws to defend itself when attacked; this is the everyday struggle of the individual being just to survive that day.    The human being strives, through culture, to perpetuate himself for all eternity.    This bias, we are saying, is built into the very idea of tool use and culture in general.   We look ahead in time to ask what is the future of mankind.  Nature for its part is looking beyond the presently existing human species for, that is, something or someone higher.  Nietzsche has forcast this eventuality.  In introducing this section it is useful to point out the close connection between our own point of view and a field of speculation developed in Germany, beginning about 1920, called Philosophical Anthropology. 

We are presently by no means constrained to work entirely within or around the modus operendi of this field and its creators, particularly Scheler, Plessner and Gehlen.  I have spoken of these (for us) auspicious personages before.  PA as the word suggests has feet planted both in anthropology and philosophy.  A search by google will show that there are various approaches to PA, for instance a Christian philosophical anthropology.  I want to characaterize mainstream PA as being truly philosophical but "reaching out" to science.   Indeed, Christians and existentialists and philosophers of all sorts have "reached out" to science.  But they shortly throw all scientific respectibility and caution to the wind and sail off into their own regeions.  Ideally we should all be scientific, because to be scientific means to be true.  My own point of view is that the reader should be advised that what is being said presently, or passed off as Philosophical Anthropology, does not stand on principles of scientific or academic respectability.  Our view is that science should be brought in to prove the points of philosophy, not vice versa.  On the other hand, we definitely challenge the various brands of speculation that there are out there, if only to say that they are as we are, only unprovable speculation.  I could speak of a "fascist" philosophical anthropology; that would only be to say that this is one branch of philosophy in relation to others.   Returning, then, to the problem before us:  we have made a generalization about the "mentality" of culture.  Culture is a product finally of human activity.  We may further speculate as to whether this activity is inside or outside the human brain:  we suggest that culture starts outside the brain, and the brain, for its part, evolves to reflect a culture of tools and tool use that has already been established.  We have not yet drawn any final conclusions.  We have alluded to the fact that culture has an objective or goal:  and that is to ensure the human being not only survives as a species, as one evolving species among others, but that the human is perpetuated for all times.  In nature outsidde of human life there is no concept of Man.  This being, called variously humankind or mankind, is a figure rather of religion and the goals that culture implies.   Man is eternal, then, even while nature and biology do not recognize such an entity.   To nature, Man is a temporary impasse, as a stone is to the path of a river, something to be washed away.    I describe nature's "becoming" in my section on race.

The tool or artifact is a self-contradiction but one which the human must resolve in order to remain viable.   This will be the point of the upcoming paragraph.  Tool use has opened an entirely new kind of relationship, and with this relation an entirely new kind of thinking.   For animals there is only subject/object thinking.  The animal reaches with an appendage for food:  the appendage is essentially the subject and the food is the object.  With all respect to the vast literature on the subject/object relation, I have to work within the limitations of this essay and therefore will cut corners.   We are saying that the relation that a being has with its world of objects, if this relation is through the agency of a tool,  is not simply a subject/object relation.  The human has at this point set himself apart from the entire animal world.   The tool is not precisely a subject or an object either one. That the tool is itself both an object and a subject constitutes a contradiction which calls for a resolution.  The tool as object is consumed; yet the tool as subject is perpetuated.   The tool is a standing self-contradiction but one which stubbornly interposes itself in the relation between a human being and his supporting world.   But humans depended on these tools primitive though they were.    The tool, besides being an thing among other things in the cosmos, rapidly came to be a relationship.  As a relationship is the way we must understand human technology.  The tool is an extension of the biological being and as such is subject; the tool is also a conduit to a thing (say food) that is an object.  In this latter sense the tool is also an object.  Into this more complicated relationship mind enters with the purpose of sorting out or resolving the issue of what in technics is subject and what is object.  The mind creates a logical or, we may say, "categorical" picture that represents subject and object and mediating agency.  As technics became more complex, and as human relations through technics became more structured, so the human point of view in general became more complex.   The view of the human being of himself became, as per his relations with other beings, categorical or absolute.  Technics, as so-called work, came to define the human subject even as technics came also to define the objects of work.  This line of intelligence, as I said earlier, was from the earliest periods of culture inherent in the act of using a tool.  There was no doubt a kind of naturalness in using tools and humans were not conscious in that time of any break with nature.  Tools, so to speak, resolved their own inner contradictions.  As technics advanced, on the other hand, the inner contradictions of tool use--and the highly abstract ideas that followed of what constituted both the human being and the goal of a human being--displayed themselves in the human brain.  The more advanced human being could truly be called homo contradictio, or creature of contradictions.  But this inner logical tension was what propelled human history forward in a "progressive" mode.  Because contradictions, unlike mere conflicts, demand resolutions.  Without resolutions, contradictions terminate the existence of parties to the contradictions.  The human being saved himself, we are saying, by deriving from contradictions inherent in his way of life--technology--certain resolutions or "synthesis" that stabilized his life.  The sum of these resolutions we call culture. 
   
Tool use has built into it an entire complex of thought .  We are sticking our necks out a bit on this point.  Also we are dwelling on matters that have long been speculated on by philosophy, without reaching any final conclusions.  Thought, in other words, is prior to the human brain--this assumption in relation to traditional anthropological wisdom is a paradox.  We usually ascribe thoughts to a modern human brain and mind.    In assuming thoughts can exist outside the modern human brain, in actions and objects,  we become Hegelian objective idealists.  We are not radicals on this point, saying, rather, that thoughts--as opposed to blind mechanical process--begin to transpire in an area vaguely somewhere between protohumans and the rest of the cosmos.  This grey area is that of early tool use.  Thoughts begin to appear in human or humanoid action, where such action involved tool use, before there was a brain of modern proportions.   Tool use prefigured mind. 

We must understand that the culture that evolved finally, even at so early a phase as the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, was more radical in the separation of the human creator and his own creation.  I have talked about this separation as "Swartzbaugh's Paradox".  In simplest terms, it was one thing for a man to replace a stick he had lost or broken with another stick, and entirely another thing to replace a tool that was the result of difficult individual and collective labor.  He was more dependent on the refined tool than the simple tool.  Having broken his first tool, he would have to return to his campsite and long hours spent at the campfire to make a new one.  Also he was dependent, more and more, on other members of his group.  They contributed motivation, inspiration and knowledge.  The human thus, in preparing a more specialized and refined tool, became more a collective social being in the "higher" human sense.  His whole existence had changed from an individual life to a life mediated by the "other" in the widest meaning--technological and social--of the word other.  His individual life was finally confronted by the collective "other."  This other presented, on the other hand, a great challenge.  That is, where the collective and technological entity conflicted with the individual one, the former was stronger; or it tended to be.  However, just as the final motivation for culture comes from the real, individual human being, in his modest drive simply to survive and reproduce himself, the "individual"--meaning the basic and original human being--must separate himself from his own culture.  This separation is in thought and pracice.  We are faced essentially with the paradox that, simply in order to exist, both the human being and the culture must finally contradict one another and also, paradoxically, resolve that contraction according to the cicumstances in which the contradiction manifests itself.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-09-12 14:15:46)

Re: 9.RACE AND NEGATION

Human beings think that to use a tool is "good."  Just to use the tool, we are saying, means that the tool user is biasedto be biased to use that tool.  This basic idea has parlayed itself into religions world wide of all different forms, but ones having the same theme.  We may state a basic anthropological fact.     If an animal used to heat is subjected to cold, the animal must "evolve" biologically in order to adapt to the cold.  Such adaptation through genes and morphology is necessary to save that species from extinction.  The human being on the other hand adapts through his own artifice, which is culture.  If the human being is cold, he makes and puts on clothes:  this is adaptation through culture.  This is a principle that is easy to understand.  Where we have interjected some new wisdom on the subject of humankind is to suggest that just in having culture the human being adopts the biases of culture.  These are not precisely human biases in the sense that they are instinctive, so much as they are biases that humans adopt, spontaneously, by using technology.  The soul is in effect a "technological" bias:  to rely on technical action rather than to subject human beings themselves, as such, to change.    To be cultural in the first place means that the cultural being adopts the biases of culture.  To use a tool, we are saying, means to be biased that tool use is "good."   This goodness is reflected or is implanted in the human point of view, particularly as the brain has evolved over many thousands of years to reflect tool use.   Likewise we have made a point about the universality of the tooll itsef.  The mentality of the tool is everywhere, among all peoples and cultures, the same.   It is quite logical that as human assess their own technology, and the importance of this technics in their lives, they are going to have similar ideas on the "essence" of the human being, or as we are calling it, the human soul.  And it is by virtue of this soul that humans are "equal."

It is not that society has reached its highest pinnacle that concerns us, it is the virtually central idea of our civilization, rather, that so-called Man is perfect.   There are several issues over which intellectuals have long been arguing; we do not want to get sucked into these arguments.  New Force Theory presently avoids for example the entire issue of human equality.   What is fair or unfair is also of no concern now.    We now say simply say so-called human equality and inequality, which have long been a diversion rather than a fruitful line of speculation, are of low priority.   I spent my earlier years, as a young conservative, troubling myself with philosophical questions which led nowhere.  We are passing on, then, to an issue much more serious:  the idea that the human being is "perfect" just by virtue of being human.  It is not the inequality of human beings that is the vitual question for society, rather the essential thing is perfection of the individual just by virtue of his or her humanity.  What is said here is that, for instance, a criminal is a perfect being by virtue of being a human being.  This point is not science but religion.  This is where religious philosophy--and therefore also society--stands presently on the issue of criminality.   Philosophical Anthropology, in attributing a "human essence" to all human beings whomsoever, while not explicitly denying a religious motive, has not been a solution to this problem so much as being part of the problem itself.  We are moving in the direction where PA would take us, towards some sort of "essence of man" (Wesensbegriff des Menschen) which is not a scientific fact but more a mystical religious idea.    But there is more.  Social action is predicated upon some conception of the human being or so-called human nature.  Any conception of the human being, which postulates some "essence of goodness" in this being, is not in itself harmful but merely in the area of excusible curiosity and speculation.  Where this human essence impacts on action is in the area of social policy.  Again we fall into the area of Platonism, and away from the progress made in biological science which considers change and development.  It would almost seem, and we suggest this here, that despite awareness of change and natural evolution there is a disinclination on the part of men to accept change and to favor, rather, some view that postulates an eternal or divine order of being.  It is essential to note, and Force Theory bases itself on this conception, that society has always been and probably always will be a static idea.  Society fixes human behavior in accordance with some principle or principles that are held to be unchanging.   This unchanging premise of society is a conception of so-called Man, an idea that humans assume too important to be left to anthropologists.  The conception of Man is still essentially in the hands of religious people, because the entirety of society--and all social action--is based squarely on this notion.  Society could change; but it will not change unless the assumption of society--an imago humani--itself changes.  It is not society that cannot change, insofar as human beings themselves engineer society to their liking, it is the fact that the goal of society, the human being himself or herself is regarded as eternally perfect.  This perfect human being is a composite picture of all human beings known about who can, together, take part in society as citizens.  We are beginning at this point to understand how society is put together.  Engels and the "Marxists" regard economics--that every kitchen needs a pot with a chicken in it--is the basis of society.  We are saying something different:  that the basis of society is an image of so-called man.  I said just now that Philosophical Anthropology is complicit in the error of human "perfection."   

PA has not yet said anything different about the so-called essence of man than has been said by traditional philosophy.  The idea that a criminal is a perfect being by virtue of being a human being has not yet been challenged by PA.  Into this general picture, finally, come anthropologists and especiallly Philosophical Anthropologists.  These people have special knowledge.  It is a paradox that precisely the most centrally located thinkers are the least considered and respected--there is a reason for that.  The revolutionary potential of Philosophical Anthropology is not as a direct adversary of society, because PA has no army or organized resistance, but rather, simply, PA is a mode of thinking positioned to critique the existing conception of Man upon which society is based.    Not under the wing of religion, and especially state-supported and state-authorized religion, PA has a dangerous position in the sphere of knowledge.  So far PA has shown itself to be a beneign supporter of the status quo. In the sacred writings of America and other modern nations is the idea of humanity, not as a species but as a goal of human achievement.  To be human is to be the Good of Platonic philosophy.   European philosophy is saturated with this idea, most prominently among the Natural Law and Social Contract philosophy; it is hardly surprising that America has continued with this.  These writers were busy during the first days of America, which then was founded in theory on all the bad ideas of Europe.  The word Mankind is used repeatedly in our Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address and so forth.  I am not focused here on the equality of Men so much as I am on the perfection of Man.  There is the implicit suggestion in these documents, I argue, that mankind is an aspiration but one, also, that has all but been achieved.  Every human being alive participates in this form of perfection insofar, simply, as he is a human being.    This is one of the bad ideas that Europeans sent America and has corrupted our political theory.  There is the persistant and pervasive belief through Western civilition, with only minor disruptions, that so far as a human being displays or represents humanity he is by that very fact perfection.  There is in these terms no higher aspiration and no goal beyond being simply a human being.   What is important for Force Theory is the idea that humans now think that the social progress that there has been has ended, finally, in a finished product beyond which there is nothing higher imaginable. Force Theory is a critique of society that takes its mission, not from Fascism or any ideology, but from Philosophical Anthropology as a "study of the essence of man."  Force Theory directs its attention away from the superstructure of society and towards, rather, society's ideological basis in the conception of Man.  I have said this before.  As a revolutionary force Philosophical Anthropology's main thrust is a reassessment of the concept of Man which is the basis of existing society.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-06-15 13:01:17)

Re: 9.RACE AND NEGATION

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Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-06-15 13:25:25)

Re: 9.RACE AND NEGATION

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