202201272352 📃 the services of the status quo
¶1. An issue of relatively great importance which has only arisen to my consciousness recently: the distinction between the individual image and the social condition for its existence.
¶2. What is this distinction? Plainly: it is the difference between the fact that any image must be seen and therefore experienced by an individual whereas any criticism must be expressed at a Supra-individual level. the discord herein makes any critical mindset or critical framing purely aesthetic, so that all supra-individual statements redound only to an individual experience and, therefore, only impact individual, which is to say private, consciousness.
¶3. Now, the situation can be different so far as enough individuals are amassed in viewership so as to warrant a kind of collective consciousness. This, however, is an atomistic view of things, as it supposes that the individual’s access to an image is purely private and not in some way socially mediated. Of course, I solve this problem by already having a viewership base. this, however, is also private insofar as it is distinct and therefore dirempted from all possible viewers.
¶4. This is a it of fine-grained and in this way idiotic distinction, for any base of viewers has ends quantitatively and therefore qualitatively. For, the transformation of that subsect of the total population into quality occurs so far as I say “x number of viewers” is “my fanbase.” As idiotic, it is only pointing out what is already necessary to any and all understanding of both the quantity and quality at hand - both are intuitively referred to whenever one speaks of either.
¶5. But, then, why make the distinction? Plainly: because it calls to the fore a hitherto tacit aspect of my project, this being, the transformation of a particular act into a condition for universal change. This happens not through a merely critical framing of a presentation but, as articulated elsewhere, through dialectical speculation which sublates the uncritical through the critical so as to draw both modes of consciousness into itself. In doing so, it aims to make no distinction between those disposed to critical consciousness and those wholly antithetical thereto. Instead, all individuals are capable of understanding the question at hand, for none have been alienated. Rather, all have been incorporated and thereby unified to the experiential truth of the situation.
¶6. This is all well and good but, so far as the distinction itself is concerned, we are left with this dilemma: either individual image-experiences are conducive of mass consciousness through the method of aggregation or, contrarily, they are not. If not, then we do nothing but reaffirm the merely aesthetic character of the image and, thereby, do nothing but contribute to the mass of content which presents itself before viewers as critical. In being a mere presentation, it is only itself and reaches towards nothing. It, in essence, assumes that the mere distribution of information suffices for consciousness raising, for difference-making. Again, this may be so at some mediocre level. Our belief is that dialectical speculation can odd this to an even greater degree. Whether or not this is so, such speculation is still indifferent to the form of presentation as precisely individual. Or, at least, it is only so if speculation is assumed to be a mere content for the video form.
¶7. Rather, this content must reach beyond this form and attempt to unify its content with the experience of the viewer in a dialectic of exchange which, thereby, furnishes further videos. This snowball is the essence of what we are after. How, however, do we do it?
¶8. We can (1) conduct calls to action, but this remains merely individual. What, we must ask, is the structure whereby an individual can be called to act in such a way that a business (or any organization) can reliably predict such a move in aggregate? Plainly: it is the desire-for on the part of the individual and the fulfillment-of on the part of the organization. To be more precise: it is the desire-for in the individual and the fulfillment-of in the object seen by the individual and provided by the organization. For most, this entails a resource. For us, it must entail  a **mode of sociality** which is simultaneously a resource.
¶9. Good: we are envisioning a social organization. But the problem of individuals and groups is unresolved. Prima facie, all individuals are merely themselves. This much is obvious. They are, moreover, representatives of certain groups, as I have elsewhere sketched some years ago. They are in such groups according to modes of (1) consciousness and thereby (2) interpersonal affinity. The former leads the latter into (3) modes of communication, which are exchanges of information directed by (1). This communication culminates into (4) action, whether organized or otherwise.
¶10. The basic modes of social organization assumed by all individuals are (1) pure individualism, (2) coupling, either (a) as friends or (b) as lovers, (3) family units, either (a) with children or (b) in generational extension, (4) work associations, either (a) as employed or (b) as employers, (5) affinity associations, either (a) through mere commingling in the Commens, (b) shared aesthesis, and (6) political associations, either (a) essentially (government itself) or (b) incidentally (government-adjacent). We can further divide aesthesis into (i) subjective experience and (ii) objective experience, the former divided into (i.1) immediate and (i.2) mediate. All objective experience is dual, mediated by the object and yet immediate so far as it is subjectified. This seems to exhaust all circumstances in which individuals remain in close quarters with others.
¶11. Some other things stand out with respect to the internet and passing, liminal spaces in general. These include (a) comment sections (b) waiting in line (c) transportation (d) passing communication (e) group chats (f) other loci of necessity. All such spaces are liminal due to their necessitarian character - each is present in average everyday consciousness because men are living out their lives as individuals already associating in one or more manners listed in ¶10. Here, individuals are not associated per se but are, rather, associated only in passing from one association to the next, often from work to atomic individualism or from work to family. Thus, these are loci of necessity because they are necessary for the movement between the other associations to continue. We can categorize these roughly according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: (1) physiology (2) safety (3) intimacy (4) esteem (5) cognition (6) aesthetics (7) self-actualization (8) transcendence. (1) is essentially stores; (2) is essentially offices (doctor’s, dentist’s, hospital, etc.); (3) is essentially group chats; (4) is essentially social media; (5-8) are essentially private, and can be done away with for the time being. (Our end goal is to integrate these into an entirely new, as yet unrealized form of association).
¶12. Now, what divides critical consciousness away from average everyday consciousness is the fact that the latter must always deal with what was enumerated in ¶10 and its mediation through ¶11. Relatability springs up as a consequence of this, most especially through ¶11. In this way, critical consciousness becomes a mere picture-thought, a “what if” which, for all its glitz and glamor, exists only in and for speculation in the Latin sense of looking on. In this way, it is nothing but a contemplative posture or arrangement of ideas. It exists in the world, for it is situated in the manifold of average everydayness as mediated through ¶10 and ¶11. Yet, it exists for consciousness, a thing also bound up with these. Thus, the spectator can only spectate - he observes in his own state of liminality, using loci (3) and (4) for his own needs’ fulfillment. Any critical consciousness, therefore, ends merely here and does not, consequently, becoming anything other or more.
¶13. What is needed is an image which exists in the world for the world, rather than merely for consciousness. Now, if a thing is to be for the world, it must understand that world and take up this understanding with each moment of itself. To do so, we must recapitulate to ¶10 and ask: what do each of these serve, what do they benefit in the lives of those who partake of them?
¶14. Atomic individualism plainly serves the cause of solitude as a repose from sociality. As itself, it seems almost to be a form of non-sociality. Yet, when considered for itself, this is totally untrue: no man escapes the social, even as he sleeps. The social is everywhere and always, if only in the thoughts that think in the language given to the individual man by the culture into which he or she was born. This said, then, atomic individual is the bottommost limit wherewith a man is at home with himself and therefore comfortable with the social as such. He no longer wishes to participate in it because he is fine with it and, being so fine, sees it right to attend to himself.
¶15. Coupling, by contrast, serves the need for intimacy and exists in varying degrees of intensity according to the demand for satisfaction of the need in those who partake in it. Thus, those in a romantic couple demand intimacy deeply and, therefore, seek it of each other in a bond of conjugal union. By contrast, two friends only demand this intimacy lightly and associate with each other merely as friends. There are infinite degrees intimacy among couples, from mere associates to friends with benefits. In short, here we understand all face-to-face intimacy stored in consciousness. What does intimacy serve? In sum, the cause of sharing one’s mind in openness with a qualitative Other. It is an objectification of one’s self thereto and, consequently, an affirmation in direct recognition of one’s subjectivity.
¶16. All following forms of association depend on the quantitative other, society. The clearest bridge between mere intimacy and society as such, however, is the family, for it begins in intimacy and ends in a small society, as Aristotle has rightly pointed out. Thus, architectonically, the family serves the purpose of binding individuals to society, of making them present to society and society present to them. It does this in all familial couples through mutual support and commitment while, for heterosexual couples, through the propagation of the species. In this, couples sense themselves as instances of the entire human race, for they literally make possible its continuation. In homosexual couples, by contrast, such feeling is only possible so far as the couple raises the child born of another. This is still a strong feeling but, as genetics and endocrinologists tell us, it’s intensity pales in comparison to that of the heterosexual couple. Let there be no mistake: the homosexual and heterosexual couples are bound to society in equal degree. Their being bound to the species, however, is clearly greater in the case of the heterosexual couple. The homosexual couple, by contrast, is perhaps more greatly bound to the social, which is not society, so far as their raising of children partakes of other institutions: midwives, adoption centers, and so forth.
¶16R. Remark: There are internal limits to all social arrangements, including that just described. To describe the services of an arrangement is not to state its objective validity. Rather, it is to describe its being insofar as it is and how it continues to be. Thus, to describe the service of a social arrangement is to describe both its being for itself (what its arrangement before consciousness enables for its own perpetuation) and its being for its constituents (what its arrangement before consciousness enables for those who participate in it). Other services are possible dependent on different arrangements of desire (subjectivity) and institution (objectivity). Consequently, we are only thus far interrogating the present arrangement as a mode of actuality which is, but need not forever be. It will be the task of a future writing to understand where each service falls short and how, in sum, the architectonic of present-day society contradicts itself. This writing will be the project of demonstrating where freedom has not yet become consciousness and where, moreover, individuals can begin to act to make it so.
¶17. Now, continuing in this vein, we will find ourselves in something of a conundrum once we inquire into the services of work for itself and for constituents. For itself, work presents itself before consciousness as a mode of order-generating, for it depends on and thereby reinforces the aggregative thought-mode sketched above. That is, for anyone to do “work,” they must conceive of themselves as pillars or blocks within a scheme - if they do their part, others will do theirs, and the whole of things will run on as it had before. As elsewhere sketched, this demands of consciousness a presentism and a progressivism. A man must consider that the whole as it currently stands coheres in an order in which he can participate (presentism) and a towardsness which he can furnish (progressivism). In the latter, the man does tasks for their completion, an activity given to him by the organization in which he participates. In this way, he does-towards the fulfillments he is told he ought to and, thereby, is a agent of the movement of the very present he perceives. In this way, a man senses his work for itself as a progressive moment of the present totality. Here he is unified to that totality as a member thereof, pushing it forward in itself. This describes consciousness’ understanding of the work activity alone, however. It does so from the vantage of either employer or employed, for all are always fulfilling others’ directives despite their employment status. This is work-association, therefore, from the abstract vantage of any labor done with respect to society and human consciousness as a whole.
¶18. Now, from the standpoint of concrete labor formations, we must descend into (1) hierarchies and (2) markets. From the hierarchical standpoint, the employer’s position serves him in status, a fact which wins him (1) power and (2) confidence. This is because he is in a position whereby the progress of the present depends on him en masse – he is a director of that very progress and, thereby, a director of a moment of the present. He is thus powerful because his agency commands that of others and confident because such agency redounds to his haecceity. The employee, by contrast, feels himself a moment of a whole and thereby internalizes to a greater degree what all abstract laborers do. Beyond this, however, he wins for himself sociality and comfort. Comfort is broken down into (1) dependence and (2) presence. By depending on the employer, the existential redundancies of power and confidence are divested from him and invested into the employer. In this way, the employee thinks nothing of his own uniqueness and, rather, relaxes his mind by allowing all such uniqueness to accrue to his superiors. In common parlance, he relishes in the employer having taken risks for him. This dependence of consciousness flows from (a) pure consciousness itself and (b) a series of signs, most especially (i) association itself and (ii) rewards (Ie. Money). Presence, by contrast, is only dependence occurring in and through time, such that dependence can be expected as a consequence of its past, present, and future appearance. Sociality, by contrast, is won in the sharing of this comfort with others, such that each feels himself dependent with another and thereby co-dependent in a group. This collective dependency forms the closest of bonds. Both sociality and comfort redound to atomic individualism, so far as (1) such modes of consciousness affirm and enable the independence of the individual in and for consciousness and (2) the signs herein concretize this consciousness in action. In (2), where most men commonly see the appeal of regular employment, a man’s money allows him to buy his independence. Unions, a special kind of work organization, serve only to concretize further co-dependence and, thereby, further concretize independence.
¶19. Affinity groups are primarily happenstantial and aesthetic. The former is a mere association in virtue of having been together at a certain point in time, the latter an intentional association in virtue of a common intentional experience. In the former we understand abstract friendship, something which arises out of mere necessity of being-together at a certain place and time outside a labor organization. The service hereof is a mutual recognition of sharing in social necessity, or what is outside of one’s power. Here one relishes in one’s impotence with another. In the latter we understand subjective and objective experiential associations, the former divided into immediacy and mediation. Subjective immediacy derives from being in a place or doing a thing for its own sake - skiing, traveling to France, etc - whereas mediation follows from experiencing this or that object and associating with others in consequence of how one feels about it. Here, we are primarily concerned with Conventions and certain group chats which depend largely on expressing how one feels about something. These verge into objective experiences when association depends more so on consciousness of the object itself as object rather than as something taken up subjectively. Because objects are more concrete than subjects, subjectively mediate associations generally collapse into objective associations rather quickly. The service of aesthetic association in the abstract is a sharing in intention, volition, or choice. In this, men feel themselves free with other men as a consequence of having chosen this or that and, being with others who also so chose, they come together in their agency as free. In immediate subjectivity, this generally crashes into the subjectivity itself so that the association is co-constitutive of the subjectivity. Thus, tourists in France enjoy France in part because they see other tourists and can share in the experience with them. Being a tourist in France alone would, by contrast, be rather lonely for most. The service here is one of free social activity. By contrast, mediate subjectivity and objectivity are ex post facto - they depend on a previous engagement with the object discussed. In mediate subjectivity, men can enjoy an object together - here we understand watch parties, for instance. In objectivity, however, men discuss the object as object and, thereby, appraise it both in itself and for itself, in the context of other objects of past experience. The service here is therefore one of free social discourse. Video games toe the line between these distinctions, for they comprehend both activity, feeling, and an object. This accounts for their popularity - they are a shared aesthesis par excellence.
¶20. Finally, political associations arise as an indeterminate negation of all other associations. These are indeterminate because they are, following Weber, contributors to violence monopolies which, although they make concrete ethical life (following Hegel), they do so at peril of death. In some sense, they are the backbone of all other associations. Therefore, qua backbone, they stand in consciousness as such - as a thing there-behind, allowing individual choice free reign while security persists beneath it. In this way, they serve a similar function for ruler and ruled between that of employer and employee, except their purview and therefore cosmic import are of greater heft. Where the employer merely secures the signs of freedom (money) for employees, the ruler secures the very possibility of freedom for the ruled, doing so through the dictates of ethical life. The service for the ruler is, therefore, to be “the march of God on earth,” as Hegel has said. This explains the virulence of political consciousness among those aspiring to partake of governmental rule - they attain to the highest possible form of status and power from the standpoint of consciousness. For the ruled, by contrast, a feeling of dependence on arbitration is always present, thereby explaining the virulence of political opinion. This service is twofold, bringing together all services to the employee to bear in a more cosmic fashion while, moreover, furnishing affinity associations in consequence of this cosmic sentiment. Government-adjacent organizations, by contrast, are served as though daimones to the Olympians, receiving special treatment for their special services. They are therefore awarded status, power, and confidence somewhere between that of rulers and that of employers.
The circuitry of interpersonal association:
- Interpersonal affinity
Types of social associations:
- Atomic individualism
- Family units
- Work associations
- Affinity groups
- Commens commingling
- Shared aesthesis
- Subjective experience
- Objective experience
- Subjective experience
- political associations
- government itself
- Government-adjacent (political parties, PACs, etc.)
- government itself
Liminal associations: loci of necessity
|null||transportation||roads, cars, busses, etc.|
The services of associations:
|1||atomic individualism||Privacy, repose|
|3||Family||Binding to society and species
mutual support and commitment
|4||Work||Abstract Labor: progressing the present
Employers: status, power, and confidence
Employees: comfort (dependence, presence), sociality (co-dependence)
Unions: further concretion of employee consciousness
|5||Affinity groups||Happenstance: sharing in unfreedom
Subjective immediacy: free social activity
Subjective mediation: free social discourse (feelings)
Objectivity: free social discourse (appraisal)
This line appears after every note.