20220123012800 📃 conditions for the creation of a just community
¶1. Creating a just community is fundamentally twofold. First, it must comprehend itself positively as a “this,” or a set of dicta for adherence. Second, it must comprehend itself in determinate negation of the “that,” society at large, so that its positivity is not merely another “that” in the midst of “all that.” The latter is the vast network of so-called alternatives to average-everyday society, the endless constellation of networks, associations, clubs, and coteries which comprehend themselves in mere positivity.
¶2. Marxist associations alone have understood their determinate negativity, as have religious associations before them. It is this self-understanding, that their partiality comprehends in itself a moment of potential for universality, which allows them to do so. For Christians, this was the universal kingdom of god. For Marxists, it is the communist state. Both are intertwined in messianism, but it is this which, arguably, has lead to the necessary spread of their consciousness.
¶3. The spread of capitalism is marked by mere positivity and indeterminate negation, so that determinacy co-occurs with positivity. In this sense, the positive and the determinate are understood in consciousness to be one and the same - this is patently false. Such a view means that all associations are a mere “this and,” but never a “this and not.” The latter alone is determinately negative, the former determinately positive. At the level of positivity alone, all organizations are determinately negative as themselves and not some other organization - this is their self-consciousness of their own existence. Only Christian and Marxist organizations, however, have understood this at the level of their condition for possibility, that whole which allows their being as such. In the Christians’ case, this was Rome, in the Marxists, Capitalism. It is at this level of self-understanding that any just community, rightly understood, must enter. Anything else will merely be a reiteration of the “now” as a cultural form.
¶4. What I mean by the “now” as a cultural form essentially attends to what I have sketched here as “anthropology.” For, though academic anthropology is the study of culture, anthropology in philosophic immanence is the account of Man’s bottommost being in the middle of practice. That is, the “now” as a cultural form is the practical anthropology or self-understanding of being with which men must operate if their thoughts and actions are to be conceived of as descriptively “normal” and normatively “proper” and/or “right.” Thus, Marxism really and truly introduced into the world a new form dependent on adherence to Marxist theory. Christianity did the same, dependent on adherence to Christian thought. A skeptic looking for the pure common will always avow human universals over and above transient differences. Yet, we must admit that, if material developments are real (and they are, behold canals, telecommunications, and so forth), so too must their spiritual undercurrents as developments of consciousness. Thus capitalism was a result of the Protestant work ethic, at least according to Weber. Such an idealist account of world history is one-sided. Marx tells us material is just as important but, indeed, he too falls into one-sidedness for failing to understand that the material and ideal conditions of man are bound up in intentionality. To be sure, Marx does admit that his material comprehends idealism in itself. He does not, however, adequately describe the man-to-man relations which do so and, consequently, his materialism leaves out the intentionality and towardsness that the ideal always carries towards material.
¶5. Thus our pragmatic anthropology is the end of human reason as homo faber who, in his making, is also homo ludens, or the playing man who designs and creates. This is man’s final self-understanding, at least as of the writing of this text. Will it last for all time? No, but such horizons of freedom and possibility will only open up to man once he realizes his being as maker and creator. The young Marx saw this but soon left it behind as he became more primarily concerned with the assistance of material conditions and class struggle proper. Though noble, this effort and its own historical possibilities have collapsed, while a new, ever-more elusive and amorphous form of capitalism remains. The totality of this structure must be accounted for later. We have already begun this work here, here, and [[ 202111062133 Some annoyances, in review|here ]].
¶6. What is relevant for us now concerns the creation of what I have elsewhere called “pure joy” as a communitarian condition. I have enumerated its inner relations as consisting in collective sustenance, collective love, and collective security. These are its contents as predicated, but not as practiced. As practiced, the just community, which from the descriptive standpoint is the community of pure joy, is that which not only comprehends remedial justice in the present juridical sense but which, moreover, comprehends a social justice. This is not the mongering of fear had by so-called “social justice warriors.” Indeed, the language, picked up from Marx’s language of struggle, is telling. The “fight” for justice must be dropped. For the language of struggle and fighting induces a consciousness thereof, one in which the mind rests not from ceaseless striving to “right wrongs” and so forth. No, we are after something restful from the first, a community which creates in its members a state of calm repose like those ancient communists led by the apostles. To create together out of love - this is what we are after.
¶7. I have called this the unleashing of Eros - but what does this mean in practice? It means a dual satisfaction of man’s spiritual and material needs, which, for practice proper, means ritual and compulsory labor. The sustenance of life is a thing in itself which man needs if he is to feel complete and whole. What results otherwise is a toilsome languor in which the absence of labor is itself so unbearably light as to, at the same time, be infinitely immense. We require, then, the labor of creation, where each man does as he wants in service of the whole group. For some, this will mean mathematical design. For others, hands-on design. For others still, poetry, literature, philosophy, and so on. In short, each man is to take up a task which he feels to be in itself adequate to his own bearings and those of the community before him.
¶8. For organization, this will have bearings both for (1) the creation of the community (2) the maintenance of the community and (3) the future of the community. Maintenance is easiest as an envisioning of a self-same order. Here regular selections of jobs can take place in accordance with community needs. (Issues of federation must be discussed at a later time). In terms of creation, we must begin with a network and a support system, one in which men are free to pursue their creative works without per se concern for life-sustenance. We do want to collectivize income, but how exactly we do this remains to be seen. The greatest obstacle here is lack of physical space and interaction. Second to this is the movement of men beyond the purview of any one physical space, so that justice itself must enter into the realm of nebulousness and rhizomatic inter-connection. (That is, no hierarchy whatsoever but a set of competing hierarchies with vastly different time scales and oversight possibilities). The absence of physical organization is the most troublesome matter. We are after a digital mutual aid network which unfolds in several stages, materially.
¶9. In the first stage, we merely share funds to all members so they can purchase without fear of desire. This will essentially amount to luxuries. In the second stage, we amass and share funds so members can pay for rent/housing and food - we will secure them in body. In the third stage, we amass enough funds for members to purchase sustainable housing in accordance with relevant anthropological and environmental data (universalizable along Kantian lines).
¶10. This will also be a mutual aid network for the sake of spiritual health, a term which I take to include mind, social life, and cosmic significance. Spiritual health is more inclusive than mental health and takes up what has been called states of “existential crisis.” It is my belief that such crises are resolved when men and women have work they sense to be of cosmic significance and, sensing it, they dissolve themselves into it as their purpose. Thus, in the first stage, we merely allow voices to speak and hear each other (through chats). In the second stage, we encourage community formation through job distribution according to what has been said in chats. In the third stage, we build our own cities and housing based on the principles of the organization.
¶11. The principles of the organization are tentatively as follows, at least as I conceive of things now. (1) an emphasis on yogic practice as a cultivation of body and mind (music and gymnastic) and a diminution of desire. (2) a virtue-deontological moral framework grounded in a pragmatic account of practical reason. (3) a course in social semiosis (grounded in biosemiotics, evolutionary biology, and ecophilosophy) thereby easing (1) and (2). (4) a course in Marxist and Anarchist theories of Capital and Power. (5) community responsiveness as a kind of situatedness and predictability (this is the hardest task - without predictability for consciousness, the entire system becomes a chaotic mass of supposition and presupposition.) (6) the rightful ground of love.
¶12. Problem: predictability and love depend on each other, issues which can only resolve themselves when an organization becomes self-consciously life-serving. Up until this point, the organization is a mere congery of individuals loosely bound by pre-existent cultural forms. The point is to sever ourselves from those forms insofar as we allow ourselves the possibility of creating new ones. The trouble here-with is the self-consciousness of this practice - all other revolutions have occurred without self-consciousness. This is essentially the same problem faced by Marxists around 1880-1910. Such trouble gives way to opportunism, scandal, and potential damage to things as they are. This is further troublesome insofar as we tread on cult-like consciousness, a dangerous dogmatic and rigid consciousness which attaches itself to the community precisely because of the strength of its services.
¶13. Bourgeois consciousness and social forms have essentially resolved this into the existential crisis, such that the absence of determinate negativity in capitalism leaves atomic individuals to be their own determinate negations of the cosmic whole. This means, for instance, that personal identity can be cultivated in negation of what one sees, community found therein as a consequence of one’s determinate negation. Positivity thereby accrues to individuals but does not bind them in any meaningful way. In this sense, all community becomes liquid and like waves of vapor, as Marx has said. All things become proletarianized, external, and Apollonian. The Dionysian urge collapses in on itself as depression, isolated men and women lacking groups of people who rely and depend on them for pure joy. It is this feeling, of being wanted and needed, which constitutes Eros and the Nietzschian Dionysian. What takes its place is a purely external set of relations - entertainment relations, managerial relations, medical relations, and so on, which attempt to give individuals senses of purpose and solidity. Instead, what each yields them is a partiality, so that I must take my pills to manage my depression, write to manage my thoughts, create videos to manage my vision, and so on and so on in an infinite cascade of fractured activities with no other organic unity than my own self. I see nothing in my world which reflects my unity and, like the Vitruvian man, I am outstretched in all directions in a bad universality. Pulled and torn across all such possibilities, I actualize none of them and am left only with my own self.
¶14. The entirety of the above is mediated by money, especially in its simulacral fiat form, insofar as it functions as a purely external signifier of an internal anthropological datum, Desire. As bottommost being, money is the external essence of the internal anthropology of bourgeois society. What I am seeking in just society, by contrast, is the reintegration of all that has been left to the individual in social forms, a task which even Marx and his followers have failed to take up. In some sense, society is nothing other than the provision of partial integrations of individual desires to social participants - this is Dewey’s view. My own, however, is that it is both this and a creation of mediating such desires in and through those participants. This is only pragmatism taken to its final, charitable conclusion - the social deliverance of desire is true when it is mediated self-consciously, a fact which wins for mediators their own satisfactions. The corporate stooge need not work until the late hours of the night so that the 15 year old obese teenager can eat candy bars. No candy bars are produced, so no excess labor is needed for their production. Instead, society is organized according to an adequate model of the internal relations of man’s consciousness, thereby cutting, as though a razor, off all wretched desire. We achieve this, first and foremost, by ridding ourselves of money.
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