202202140129 📃 the precession of capital
¶1. The modes of difference are several, as has been preliminarily noted in 202112251155 📃 Notes for Difference-Making. These as yet only concern the content of transmission as itself making-different as content.
¶2. Insofar as this happens in one-voice, it is univocal and therefore only my own. To capture a social spirit, one must be equivocal, or an avatar of sociality in itself. This avoids the cultlike redundancy of the univocal claims to the man himself. In this case we see meaning (the equivocal in itself) replace capital (the univocal in itself). Here, men give up capital for meaning, feeling in themselves something money cannot buy. The task is to avoid this movement by (1) retaining capital’s power in itself by (2) sublating it through meaning in itself so it can (3) turn against itself and its shackles. This three-stage movement adequates Marx’s materialist dialectics, but through the sphere of communication.
¶3. Money turned outside itself is obscure, for money is predicated on the channeling of equivocal desires into univocal means-ends circuits. The whole of life is in this way controlled through the system of accumulation and having, so that meaning is nothing but a caput mortuum left over from the sublimation of desire into objects (cf. [@freudIntroductoryLecturesPsychoanalysis2013]). In this sense, we are forcefully compelled to remark that monetary men are mages in the highest sense for, as Marx proclaims of Money [@marxMarxEngelsReader1978], it transforms anything into anything else. They are social mages particularly, for money is the condition for all social difference as a magnetic “I want to have” which commands men in spite of reason (cf. Especially Tom McCarthy’s [@mccarthyRemainder2007]).
¶4. Thus, in some sense, money is the most ingenious of social technologies, for it has done doubly what men sought for centuries. First, it has allows universal intercourse among men as a universal language. Second, it has transmuted dung into gold. We are thus readily left to question - how, in consciousness, can the univocal be turned against itself or turned out of itself? For, if such could be the case, it would no longer be univocal, but like all other social phenomena, purely equivocal. We note that this happens in times of commercial crisis, where men lose faith in the univocity of the bill in hand. At such times a bank run occurs, so men can have as much money as they feel equivocally worth their while. Such a crisis is one of objective conditions in a Marxist sense, as it speaks to conditions in re and therefore in the world, if only the social world. At all other times, such conditions are not ripe for the collapse of the dollar and, consequently, men continue its use (as they ought - all life depends on it).
¶5. The question, then, is this - what are the subjectively necessary factors for the inversion of the dollar’s univocity into equivocity? Qua social phenomenon, the dollar is truly equivocal, as all things are. Its power rests in authority and collective intention, the security whereof flows to the dollar as a moment of the greater security had. (Thus, commercial crises are always political crises). For, all power is ultimately political - the genius of commerce is to dirempt desire from politics as such so that, while men bicker about intentions, those without care for such discussion can buy and sell as they please, having as they want while the rest guarantee their power to do so. The logic of this move for mankind is pristine to the utmost degree, and we must respect our ancestors for having designed it.
¶6. Yet, if univocity were truly as most men believe, we would see nothing of what we do, in fact, see. The bourgeois claims of Robespierre and his ilk proclaimed capital as a universal equalizer, the likes of which set all men on equal footing. Now, this could only be so possibly if all men began life with a Set amount of capital, which they don’t. (Whether this would actualize is contentious, but the point is moot.) Instead, equivocal differences arise and take up the so-called univocity of the dollar in themselves, from which politics arise under the sphere of finite having. Here we have worker-capitalist discord especially, though all forms of capital-mediated ostentation and chaos flow from this fact.
¶7. The genius of univocity is its being as a social power. Insofar as all men can have capital, they can have the relevant power to buy and sell associated therewith. We see in this sense a radical anarchism of power, if only in the sphere of commerce a priori. We say this because this much considers univocity outside of time and in Platonic heaven. This is the belief men must hold if capital is to maintain its meaningfulness for them. A posteriori, we see nothing but graven ills on one side and useless so-called “innovations” on the other. Yet, qua belief, the ideal of atomic individualism is a radical step forward from the traditionalist collectivism of the Middle Ages. Marx’s fatal mistake was to fail to touch on the belief that capital holds for men a priori. Had he done so, we imagine the communist movement might have been more like a militant personalism, rather than a militant totalitarianism. But I digress.
¶8. A posteriori, commerce a priori collapses into affinity groups and fields, where men vie for capital as an end-in-itself fulfilling their a priori constitution there of. Some seek status, others fame, others mere social support of their families. Whatever the case, such desires are pre-given via social learning, and men repeat commercially that which they saw others do before them. In this way, capital amends itself into a cultural power over and above its initial social power. What was prior a mere a priori posit for individuals becomes, in time and a posteriori, a cultural power which those with different experiences and opportunities utilize for its own sake.
¶9. Here equivocity, and therefore politics, reappear in a sublated form, for better and worse. This reappearance of equivocity as “office politics” and “social drama” is therefore nothing but a return of the same, except through the finitude of the univocal as opposed to the equivocal, human life itself. In this way, all relations take on a much more controlled tenor - men no longer kill each other and, instead, scheme for gains behind each other’s backs. The advance of social relations is, in this way, immense. Yet we must ask - is this man’s final horizon of relationality? Following Marx, we say no.
¶10. How? First, if we se that there are two essential poles of meaning here discussed, the univocal and the equivocal, then we can chart a movement from pre-historic man’s pure equivocity, with univocity as a moment of itself, to the rise of the univocal (Rome through the Enlightenment) to the domination of the univocal (the industrial revolution up to the present). Now, at the present, we can see a full inversion of prehistoric man, such that (as said above) equivocity appears only as an afterthought and caput mortuum of the univocal. Daily politics are merely a part of life which we put up with for money and our ownmost security.
¶11. What we note about this fact, however, is that such a fact is (1) one-sided, so far as it only concerns a synchronic vantage and (2) selfish, for much the same reasons. When selves cannot take up this belief, they are forced out of the system of meanings thus presented to them. Such selves are rising more quickly than ever, a fact we can only mention empirically and therefore with little philosophic ground. What this means, speculatively, however, is that the time is ripe for a new epoch in the relation of human univocity to equivocity, for the rise of the equivocal in subordination of the univocal.
¶12. What can this mean? Preliminarily, it means the crystallization of the belief in a set of univocal parameters to conduce life absolutely, so that equivocity can arise in its own self as an end worth striving for. This can proceed on several fronts. (1) technologically, as a set of tools which can empirically be understood to provide for mass human needs (2) culturally, as a push for new institutions of meaning and relation which overwhelm pre-existent univocal-dominant forms (3) commercially, as a rejection of money altogether. We contend here with all of pre-existent society and its commercial psychology of the diremption of desire from human social life and its reintegration through capital-mediated forms. Thus, the struggle is immense in the highest degree.
¶13. The ultimate end in view is the destruction of the univocal or at the least its reconstitution in a new manner which takes up its equivocal ground. Bases of power and security at this point are clarified, so that a new univocity (if only believed in as such) can arise as a tool for equivocity in its own self, or a human sociality of pure love and living. This Utopianism as a progressive movement can only occur (1) through the criticism of existing structures (2) the collective idealization of new social relations and (3) the partial construction of such relations immanently “in the shell of the old society.”
Some problems must further be sketched before we are to completely undertake this task:
- The finiteness of knowing as such
- The aesthetic finiteness of social knowing
- The finiteness of resources (a priori finitude)
- The cunning of security (evolutionary fitness as an immanent otherness, a priori finitude in action)
- Conscious thirsting for security (a priori finitude made conscious)
- The quest for certainty (theory)
- Schemes for having and being (strategy)
- Protracted campaigns (tactics)
- intra-political forms
- Post-monetary service determinacy
- Agreement on action and proposition
- Division as disagreement thereof
- Infighting for control
- Inter-political forms
- Public relations
We must also sketch the inherent problem of being through (1) a preliminary idealization of absolute synchrony for a human life (the good life) (2) absolute diachrony (the good life in time) and (3) how each of these is denuded in the process of concrete living (regardless of material circumstances).
This line appears after every note.