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 There is no such thing as politics

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Thrasymachus
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PostSubject: There is no such thing as politics    Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:10 pm

I finally realize the difficulty with trying to grasp politics from the perspective of philosophy (namely, from the perspective of authenticity, honesty, rational consistency, high values, and from the perspective of truth): politics does not exist.

Allow me to clarify. What is typically called politics is a false system based on broken relations and partial objects, a kind of blender into which various things are thrown and reconstituted into a "blend". That blending produces something that looks more or less homogeneous, what we call political positions, parties, passions, etc. But these are far from consistent and homogeneous, in fact what they achieve is to break apart their owns supposedly constitutive elements into even more disparate sub-objects and then of necessity attempt to produce a veneer of similitude that is supposed to unite this disparateness into a single image.

Every political position, in so far as it can be called a political idea, party, or sentiment, is quite necessarily full of shit. But that isn't at all to say that the elements that go into constituting the "political blended cocktail" are also necessarily shit (although many still are). Many of these elements are broken fragments from larger more sincere, human things; some are even complete values, true ideas. But upon attending to the political they become a mess of discord, self-contradiction and irrationality required to sew together the mere semblance of something with political potency.

Politics is, quite literally, the absence of philosophy. This is an old idea I had, which I tried to abandon when approaching politics over the last year. I am now more convinced than ever that this idea was sound from the beginning. It is important to understand this: the seemingly positive substance of the political is in fact the entirely negative substance of the lack of philosophy, and nothing besides.

We cannot define or explain the political by the many broken up, false and falsified constituent elements that pile into the blender, nor can we explain the political by what happens when that blender is turned on. The political itself, the being of politics, is a functionalized necessity derived from the fact that philosophy does not yet exist in the human world. This profound lack has many consequences, among the first of these being what has become known as politics. We can attempt to break down politics more honestly into problems that need to be solved; this is what I attempted to do. But even when you do this, you cannot escape the inescapable black hole and void that is the Being of the Political -- politics is necessarily incapable of simply dealing with problems that would merely require solutions. This isn't only because the political is necessarily an immoral pathological non-existent entity lacking any existential center or logical self-coherence, but it is also a consequence of the fact that problems, even clear ones, obscure any possible reasonable solution when projected upon societies and the world-conditions that have always-already been historically formed politically. Whatever exists, does so to a certain degree that it conforms to pre-existing political constructs and needs. Therefore even simple problems are impossible to approach, even clear values become hopelessly obscured and redirected downward into the void; the flotsam of this values-redirection, for indeed to force values in this way tears them apart, is used to reconstruct mere images and simulations that are meant to give the appearance that things are back to normal, that there is a real human world going on here -- a Frankenstein reality.


But the problem of the lack of anything remotely like an authentic political being goes even deeper: we cannot simply blame the lack of philosophy, the low number of philosophical people in the world or the lack of serious engagement with politics by the few philosophers who do exist, although all of these are still partly to blame. No, the deeper issue is very simple: that this human existence has two sets of laws: Laws of the Self, and Laws of the Social. Laws of the Self describe the being of the self, consciousness, the individuality, the mind and emotional center, what has been called ego or "I", and self-valuing. Each person is a constitution out of these laws in a primary sense. On the other side, Laws of the Social describe social dynamics, inter-relations, emergent economic and genetic effects, natural laws, and basically everything that takes place in the shared values-spaces that self-valuings contest and cooperate over. Traditional categories of physical and metaphysical partially break down here, and would need to be re-thought from within the perspective of a philosophy of the two sets of Laws.

What Marx achieved was to try and construct the first truly philosophical attempt at disclosing the Laws of the Social. And equally what Freud did was to try and construct the first truly philosophical attempt at disclosing the Laws of the Self. Other thinkers contributed, but these two can be credited with most clearly codifying and cohering these sets of laws. But the problem is that there is no shared ground between these sets; even if we could elaborate fully each set, which has not yet even been close to achieved by anyone, we would still need to discover the even subtler inter-relational laws by which these sets correspond, interact, and mutually coexist. There is a Pure Difference between Laws of the Self and Laws of the Social. This difference is Absolute. Consequentially, when Marx and his many followers up and to our present day attempt to understand and analyze human individual beings by appealing to the Laws of the Social, they commit a grave error; for those laws do not primarily apply to individuals, and only affect individuals secondarily, by posing as conditions and situations to which individual selves must react and secondarily constitute themselves within. The self, the individual, the human being as individual person cannot be understood by appealing primarily or only to the Laws of the Social (e.g. Marxism, critical theory, postmodern deconstruction, etc.). Freud, who started a revolution toward a truer psychology, ended up being purged from the developing field of psychology in order to make room for Marxist Laws of the Social to be applied primarily to this developing understanding of the self. One consequence of this is that we got the "Century of the Self" out of Bernays: corporatism, consumerism, waste, inauthentic being. Another consequence is that Europe mobilized itself for war along the boundaries of pre-existing cultural forms that were at the point of being dissolved into a larger understanding by way of the two sets of Laws, but instead of transcending their status quo historical situation the European powers degenerated into blood feud in passionate defense of their own cultural Types.

The world wars, modern consumer capitalism, and both transnational global corporatism and hyper-right wing nationalism were all contributed to in a big way by the fact that the two sets of Laws were never allowed to develop more completely. The lack of philosophy in the world stymied the task to create a true human knowledge. Marx and Freud were far from completing that task, of course, but they represented points of true originary beginnings. Hence why their influence is still felt so strongly today. The confusion that resulted from failure to see that there were two fundamentally different sets of laws, ended up stifling the development of both sets, and leading the sets to become falsely conflated with each other. The human individual being and self was considered to be a socially-created thing, while the human society, economic and world forms were considered to be individual, "self-ing" things. Today corporations have infinitely more power and personal autonomy than do individuals, while individuals are considered to be merely little instances of the construction of societal forces of oppression, domination and doxa. This is a direct consequence of this conflation. Likewise, in this world and point in our history and larger meta-historical development, politics is not simply impossible, it absolutely does not even exist yet.

 

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PostSubject: Re: There is no such thing as politics    Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:16 pm

I have a suspicion, which I cannot yet prove, that psychoanalysis is a fledgling attempt at elaborating the true middle-space between the two Laws. But without a more full understanding of the Laws themselves, as separate from each other, as truly occupying two distinct and absolutely different worlds of logic, ontology, epistemology, ethics and causal genesis, that attempt at a middle-space cannot get very far other than to simply establish a barest minimum shared ground between the laws; a sufficient functionality, or a functioning sufficiency.

Nonetheless, such a fledgling attempt will still be able to heal errors within either inadequately formed understanding of the Laws, in so far as those errors are themselves rooted in an emergent commonality between them. But it should be noted that psychoanalysis cannot heal errors that originate from and terminate within a Law and itself alone, a "self-misunderstanding". So what we need is a new "psychosocialanalysis".

 

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PostSubject: Re: There is no such thing as politics    Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:31 pm

Two things that would eventually come from a full articulation of the two Laws:

-A theory of Politics (psychosocialanalysis toward the socialized conditions).

-A theory of Mind (psychosocialanalysis toward the individualized conditions).


These two theories would be essentially one Theory that would span the entire range of human life. Values and self-valuing would stream through it like water: values and valuing would contribute to it, constitute it, and flow out of it, with out-flows circling back around though World and Self (experiences, conditions, Facts) and into it again.


Until this happens there is really no such thing as politics. Whatever is going on today is really just a lot of bullshit masquerading around with lifeless images of values on its various faces. But I'm not cynical; the precursor of a politics has been sufficient thus-far for civilization to arise and develop up and to its present state, so we might as well engage the process as it currently stands, even if that process needs to keep thinking of itself as "political" when in fact it is really nothing of the sort. The transition into a true politics and a Theory will be long and difficult, but it will happen. All of human history and life points glaringly, unmistakably towards it with a silent expression of longing, pain, and hope.

People don't know what they want, so they reify a few values into a semblance of a life; this is fine, but I'm interested in this thing they long for namelessly, which in fact guides them every step of the way. Is it the whispering siren-call as out of a void of the non-existence of philosophy, of politics? What is the nature of that secret seduction and desire? There is a very good reason that modern psychology rejected Freud so completely, why modern economics rejected Marx so completely. It has been felt that this modern capitalist logic needs to develop; perhaps this is a bridge in every sense Nietzsche meant it... it passes over, it passes from, and it passes to.

As Levinas said of philosophy, "not so much the love of wisdom, as the wisdom of love". Until this statement makes sense to philosophers, true self-valuing is impossible.

 

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