202204021822 📃 thought and action, concretely considered
¶1. The essential problematic in the relation between theory and praxis is one of quantity - one voice in theory, many voices in practice. Qua thought, theory can never be practiced, for its unity always bars multiplicity. However, does this hold of the converse - can practice be theorized? Simply, no, for the same quantitative relation holds - the multiplicity of practice can never be unified. The question for thinking as such, then, is a question of how and by what complexity multiplicity is reduced to unity. This is a question of methodology.
¶2. Thus qua not-thought, theory can be practiced. The operative method must, however, provide a means wherewith the univocal form thought is negated while retaining its content. How can this be done?
¶3. Generations passed have achieved it through strict moral asceticism, whose office is presided over through religious codes and priests. Generations present achieve it through moral explosion, whose office is presided over by money and the banking system. The essence of each is a desire-funnel. The first funnels subconsciously through explicit repression, the second consciously through implicit repression.
¶4. A new method must be devised which unifies LAW with MONEY, tokens of desire with a human face. Law was open to abuse by men of cunning, money the same by men of calculation. Even now we see vestiges of the former in the latter and the latter in the former, for each has interpenetrated for centuries. We thereby see moral injunctions in civil law, which limits capital calculation. We also see rational injunctions in capital management, which limits the supervision of law by men of cunning. Each hems the other in, by design.
¶5. We must ask however if these funnels are complete and exclusive of all else. We must also ask as in ¶2. to what extent not-thought is at all related to thought through the negative operator, and what it means for negation to operates. More concretely, we must ask whether practice is at all related to thought and, if not, where thought must shut itself down and open itself absolutely to the Others which it faces in the midst of practice. These Others, or exigencies, are the essential differentiator between the univocity of thought and multivocity of practice. Otherness, or the unpredictable, is the “this” which splits and divides thought into multiple voices. Now, because writing is already a thought-action, it is only evident in one-voice. Therefore, even the division between law and money in ¶3 is impotent qua not-thought, for it IS thought. Again as said elsewhere, we must also account for that Otherness immanent to thought as well, or those inner voices which hides behind the veil of univocity.
¶6. Law or injunction is essentially the opposite for thought from money or permission. For thought, the former is a moral demand, a “you must” for fear of penalty. The latter is a moral allowance, a “you can” for want of joy. The former is essentially negative, the latter positive. Again, the world encompasses both in dialectic. Never was a time had when “law” existed to the exclusion of money, nor “money” to the exclusion of law. Each existed as moments of a liquid flow, as oil and water. The correct method of practice is essentially the right translation of thought into practice which allows money and law to coexist in about equal quantities. The fuzziness and obscurity of “method of practice” containing a translation of thought into practice is intentional. For, on the one hand, all action is practice, but it is never seen as such until thought recollects it. Until then, it is a lived, unreflective practice to which we cannot explicitly refer, since it is the negation of thought itself. At this juncture we find the limit of thought as that which has cancelled itself out.
¶7. Where and what money and law ARE is obscure to each in themselves and, therefore, neither takes up its office self-consciously. Doing so means understanding each as psychic functions in abstract consciousness, as said here. The office of theory thus exists for clarification of each. Theory, as a human science, is therefore the translative sublation of money and law through each other as called for in ¶4. It is neither, nor both, but a new office which guides each into progressive channels of movement, wherein the minimal demands of each are fulfilled for maximal outcome and growth. Here we mean, for instance, a lawful limit on spending, or a spending-administrative limit on the law, at just those points where each fails usefulness.
¶8. Both money and law are accretions of conscious moments, the positive and negative respectively. As such, they harden their chaotic ground into an ordered “this,” which men can readily agree on. This ground is pure Desire, or human want. Men want many things, and their customs are only expedients towards their orderly satisfaction. As such, associations arise outside the bounds of money and law, and men engage herein happily. As said elsewhere, the self-standing, conjugal, and familial relations are socio-ontologically primitive. The first for Lockean self-ownership and Hegelian self-satisfaction. The second for companionship and sex. The third for the reproduction of the species. All else either super-adds to these or recombines them. This takes the free-floating “I” as it’s starting point, a move we need not make for socio-ontology. This is a western move. We can and do envision socio-ontologies otherwise, though. For men never appears outside society, as Cicero has said. Therefore, though we could take the Cogito as our socio-ontic point of departure with the Moderns, we can just as easily take something else with the ancients. For Plato (Crito) and Aristotle (Politics), this was the Polis. For Cicero, Imperium. For most civilizations, it is the immediate clan-group, whether kin-oriented as in the Greek Demes and African Tribes, or merely political as in later Roman provinces. In either case, we find the conjugal and familial relations to be similarly primitive to the Modern western conception. Here, however, the Cogito is replaced with something like an I-do-for rather than an I-think. As such, “for” is pre-established as a political unit which demands certain doings for its administration. The key move made among the moderns was to insert money and law into doing-for, so that thinking could arise as a separate office similarly exerciseable by all men. Similarly, money and law allow men to do-for as thinkers, cunning and calculation.
¶9. Therefore, the I-think is itself a certain configuration of an I-do-for, merely made by thought for itself so it could move about outside of mere doings-for. This subjectivity is its parent, but only under a new guise. Here we find the socio-ontic root of much social ill - men think themselves free, but are everywhere enchained to that so-called freedom.
¶10. We are plainly in need of theory which accounts for man as an I-do-for, as an intentional being. We achieve this through a combination of theory-money-law, but also through entirely new social organizations. The latter task is near impossible due to the enmeshing of most men into the subjectivities allowed by the theory-money-law triad.
¶11. The most incoherent relation is that of friends, for these depend on subjectivation in the manifold of the pre-existent law-theory-money triad of civil society. That is, no man can befriend another except as talk and speech relate him to that other in and through his own experiences in pre-given society. Therefore, the friend-relation essentially repeats the sameness of that society with the utmost uncritical incoherence. It is, analytically, that society itself in the concrete. Only law-theory-meaning as a set of theoretical tools abstract men out of this concretion and allow meta-management of all possible concrete relations.
¶12. By this, I mean that the friend relation is essentially identical to the law relation, the theory relation, and the money relation, but that the latter funnel the former, much as they funnel desire. For, the intentionality of desire is one thing funneled by these objects. It is their individual-funneling power. Sociality as such is also funneled as a social-funneling power. Yet, individuals desire sociality, and so from the vantage of individuals money-theory-law funnels only desire. But all intentionality is social, and therefore from the vantage of the social the same funnels only sociality. This nexus between one and many is the essential power of the money-theory-law triad, and it is its abstract rationality in application to conditions for possibility of concrete man-man relations which gives it its power over such relations. On this note, we find that the rationality of the civil syllogism (law-theory-money) is the explanation for its cultural-hegemonic character in modernity.
¶13. What we have here, in other words, is a complex diremption of the subject into two sides - labor and play. The former conditions the possibility the latter, so that men “work for the weekend,” as said elsewhere. Rather than uncover the weeds of this relation, most do their job for the piecemeal satisfactions of the latter. In this, the entire system of civil society repeats itself beautifully, for men are negatively kept in check for fear of punishment, neutrally allowed free thought in theory, and positively kept alive through want of joy, tokenized through money. Labor and play therefore constitute the means-ends aspect of the civil syllogism - play or carelessness, which at its apex is a loss of ego, under conditions of complete security.
¶14. The genius of this system is its funneling power, sucking Desire into itself and thereby imputing it to concrete social relationships. Negative desire is funneled into politics, neutral desire into the arts and sciences, and positive desire into leisure. Politics controls the institutions (governmental and monetary), arts and sciences investigate these institutions, and leisure is the locus of these institutions proper, whereby men enjoy themselves. All of these are present in any institution — this is their necessary structure.
¶15. We must note, however, that these cultural developments are accretions of abstract consciousness in its theory-praxis or thought-action opposition, which is largely matched by the positive-negative opposition. What begins from the first as abstracta in thought thereby becomes concrete in action, where the latter’s multivocal tendency diversifies the inner unity of the former. Here we have the utmost problematic of all human association - no one really knows what they are doing, since they operate from a primitive and uncritical univocity. All men think and believe they have a truth - without it, they could not engage in the practical syllogism necessary for action. With it in hand, they act believing themselves absolute agents. On a multivocal view, however, they only repeat the maniness which is a condition for belief in their oneness.
¶16. Here we have an immanently other issue (1) - men always do other than they think they do (what they think is one is also many). We also have a truth issue (2) - in thinking themselves true, they are only as true as their conditions for possibility. We thus have a repetitive issue (3) - the consequence is only as true as the antecedent and, thus, men never do more than repeat the truthfulness of their antecedents. We thus have a problem for change (4) - if we wish to change, we must overcome antecedent truth in our consequences. But if thought itself is already enmeshed in civil society qua theory, we need a new theory. But if theory is itself only as true as it’s antecedents, nothing new ever arises.
¶17. We need, then, a means to determine newness and difference beyond the subject who anoints it, a solution to this problem I have considered elsewhere. We need, in short, an institutional practice which upends all pre-existent funneling relations, integrating them into a totality. I have elsewhere called this practice a theurgy of self-confidence. Needed now is a text-book for such theurgy, a ritual manual and yet also a religious coda. Here the thought-action opposition will be collapsed anew, much as Christ did for the Jews and thereby opened up his people’s religion to the entire world.
¶18. Though already at work, the conclusion of this work entails the need for keeping ¶16’s issues in mind as research and the building of the codices demanded in ¶17. Having done this, we build the new society as the integrative human relation founded on a law of love, with an interlude in the quest for certainty brought about in the interim between the unconscious, primary narcissism of mankind’s youth and the sublated narcissism of mankind’s twilight. Between these was a secondary narcissism, not sublated but merely negating the narcissism of youth. Existing this, we enter into institutions of self-love and joy. This is mankind’s self-determination. This is the research agenda.
This line appears after every note.