202207041440 ✊🏿 a dialogist manifesto
A Dialogist Manifesto
Statement of Beliefs
Dialogism is the belief that face-to-face dialogue is both the means and end of human life, that any abrogation thereof, whether intentional or unintentional, freely chosen or coerced, democratic or autocratic, is violence against humanity per se.
As Christ says in Matthew 7:15, “You will know them by their fruits.” If and only if a group practices face-to-face dialogue, it is Dialogist. A group practices face-to-face dialogue if and only if any agent, inside or outside the group, would judge that it does.
We are a priori consequentialist and pragmatist. By a priori pragmatism, we mean that no concept is valid except insofar as it is practicable. By consequentialist, we mean that no practice is itself except according to a proceeding reflection on what followed from that consequence. Thus, no “truth” means anything for us except insofar as we can practice it. No practice of truth is determinable as such except by what follows from that determination.
For perfect moral duties, we are logicist. If, following Kant, we will that our action be a universal maxim, it is a priori good. However, for imperfect moral duties, we are a posteriori emotivist and anti-logicist. That is, no empirical consequence of an imperfect duty is admissable except because we feel it and never alone because we reason it. We admit of no consequence on argument. All rhetorical “convincing” is at best suspect and at worst anti-dialogical. Only what each man immediately feels in himself as right or wrong, barring perfect duties, is imperfectly true. Thus, if I live in poverty, I am a priori justified by the Dialogists in rejecting all that conditioned my being in poverty - whether that be my own actions or circumstances from without. I am a posteriori admitted in that justification by the Dialogists because I feel this justification - I cannot think and live except through that feeling. The dirt and grime of the streets strike me, the hookers’ beatings make me wince as they shoot up heroin, and the children’s screams tear my heart to pieces as they are raped and beaten by the police. The community cries out in terror as it is stomped on by forces from without - business-owners, legal regulators, and men of ill-repute who want only to maintain what pre-exists. Each a posteriori instance immanently invokes me, calls out to me, and demands my response. The Dialogists affirm this a priori as a pragmatico-consequentialist theory of truth. That each man feels pain on the forces which confront him is sufficient for the truth of his feeling a posteriori.
In sum: nothing is true a priori except because of the consequences of practice. No “this” is given to me as an a posteriori, empirical object truly except because I feel it. There is no truth of my being stabbed but because I feel my blood spilt. There is no truth of my death except because my consciousness wanes.
From the Outset
The outset of the Dialogists’ orthodoxy must be the immediate sense that each member is (1) secure (2) loved and (3) respected. Security must be analyzed into (a) mind and (b) body, so that each is secure in his sanity and environment. Love must be analyzed into a (a) good-willing and (b) good-doing. Not only must it be evident in discourse that members claim to love one member should he ever doubt this, but he must be able to see those members doing good works for him. For, as is written in James 2:14-26, “Faith without works is dead.” To this the Dialogists say: “Love without works is dead.” Respect for members is to accord with the degree of work they have done; such respect is to manifest in progressive inclines in reward - materially, socially, spiritually.
Each member is justified in his being a member insofar as he is (1) securitizing (2) loving and (3) respecting his community and its members. He both wills and does this, so that his speech and acts work towards the benefit of both the many and each one.
The orthodoxy of the Party Line, so to speak, is to be progressively reconstructed democratico-emotively. By “orthodoxy” is meant only that minimum set of beliefs that all members must share. This may well, on consensus, boil down to one belief - “The group of Dialogists exists.” This insistence is neither dogmatic nor hegemonic. All citizens of any country have an orthodox faith, for instance, in the security of their state. All workers have orthodox faith in the remuneration of their work with cash. The Dialogists intend to be no different.
Democratic opinion-rendering is to occur (1) anonymously and (2) in dialogue via interview. No polls, votes, or public demonstrations will be had. All collective action will be taken on consensus, not on majority. All steps will be taken to ensure that each has full power to express precisely as he feels, and not a word less. The all powerful “if-then” reasoning must be diminished as much as possible, confined to private speech rather than organizational power. Any and all speech-giving, rallying, and romantic statements of passion are to be discouraged.
How might men come to consensus? Simply: through mutual feeling when confronting the consequences of mutual practice. Whoever was absent of practice is absent of consequential truths - whoever did not work with us cannot believe with us. This comes in degrees. We affirm that each man retains full right to retire and live as he will in perfect solitude. He thereby removes himself from the collective practices of our group and from their truths. This nowise gives the group leverage over him to command him to do this or that, but it immediately makes him suspect for expulsion. His suspicion wanes only on re-entry and re-affirmation of practice.
Organization proper is to consist in a set of ministers elected on consensus. Such will depend on an explicit enumeration of rights and procedures, along with civil criteria for their implementation should conflicts arise in local instances of conflict.
The Prime Minister will oversee all others. He will also, at first, oversee outreach operations and public relations. On establishment of the group, ministers of (1) Orthodoxy (2) Communication (3) Orthopraxy will be established. The Minister of Orthodoxy is to work with that of Orthopraxy for continuous social-scientific study of discourse practices, their accretions into beliefs, and the practical syllogisms whereby these beliefs accrete into actions. A common-law judiciary will thereafter be established with a view not towards the maintenance of rights, but towards the maintenance and oversight of discourse practices which maximize feelings of organizational interest. From the outset, these will overall be security, love, and respect.
Politics is, for us, a dead dog. We are not interested in debates about ideas, but living through face-to-face practices of love. What is for many the end of politics, “right organization of human society,” is for us nothing but a collective emergence out of everyday practices intending that society. No debate about right policy, right action, or right anything whatsoever will ever yield the fecundity and beauty of right practice conducted every moment of every day. Therefore, we abstain from politics. We are neither pacifistic about politics nor are we quietist about them. Rather, our final end-in-view is the explosion and collapse of all that has hitherto been called “politics.” That is, we are no longer interested in abstracta concerning consequences and the violent submission of men to other men. We are interested in collective practices of love and justice, all of which will be mediated by post-political consensus rather than political voting. (“Love” and “justice” are, for us, not mere catchall terms nor rhetorical flourishes. Rather, they are objective-statal descriptors which will be predicable by group members in dialogues concerning issues posed to the group. Whatever fails these predicates on the aggregation of these dialogues is subject to revolt and the collapse of the group. It will be the duty of the ministers of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy to use publicly available methods for such aggregation and analysis, so that their critics have full power to perform their own analysis.)
What the vote essentially means for members of a political group is the strict affirmation or denial of a proposition warranting collective action. On the finalization of the vote, members submit to the party line. The Dialogists deny the efficacy of such organizational dynamics for producing anything except violence, discontent, inequality, and division. Through the program of consensus-based practice, instead, we will allow propositions to emerge and evolve according to the needs of practice. This will inevitably result in manifest inefficiencies, a matter which will be discussed below.
Our ultimate aim in the insistence on consensus-based organization is to invest members into group solidarity, so that each respects each other wholly and entirely. This is not, however, to be done to the exclusion of other groups. Rather, the Dialogists want only that their group win for members a subjectifying-role which cannot be found elsewhere. Hereby, the Dialogists hope to create a space of possibility where men can emerge as fully themselves, rather than as narrowly circumscribed monads forced to submit to those holding power in pre-existent systems. We divine no system of power. Ours is only an explicit group ontology, that bare minimum set of premises and leaders necessary for group coherence as such, by our lights.
We want, hereby, to explode all other forms of group organization. We intend to do this through an ultimate write-up of our successes and failures. If, as we hope, our expectations are vindicated, the truthfulness of loving-consensus will outshine all other violent, coercive methods of group association. Financiers, having stepped out of the icy cold waters of loveless instrumentality, will be burnt, their skin boiling under the heat of love. Career politicians, long inhaling the nitrous oxide of bankrolled policy, will suffocate in the open air of common oxygen. We anticipate that many will quite literally perish as their systems of violence explode and collapse. The Dialogists are, in this sense, militantly political in both their means and ends.
Our ultimate, trans-group aim, is an international organization of just-community cells, federated as necessary. This vision is in its infancy, and is provided now only as a means to direct public relations as the first Dialogist group forms. The degree to which this plan can be enacted will depend on the collective experience of the Dialogists as other just communities are founded, and the opportunities for cooperation and mutual aid which arise therein.
Economics is for us a relic of a bygone age. Where in times past men associated on pain of death, we believe that, through the successes of enlightenment and post-modern thought, men are now able to associate in autonomous, formal freedom. Such formal freedom is everywhere a fact. Slavery is, at least in the Western world, outlawed everywhere and practiced only in the dankest of backwaters by the most despicable of capitalists. We intend to convert formal freedom into a material freedom by recognizing, with Hegel, Marx, Sellars, and Wittgenstein, the porousness of the autonomous, “sovereign” subject. What economics has hitherto accepted as a brute datum, both in its classical and neoclassical forms, is the privacy of subjectivity. Never has an economist seen a workplace! Its yammering, cheating, debating, and sexualizing prove to even the dumbest child the incoherence of the economists’ so-called “assumption” for modeling. Relying instead upon the newly-emergent tools of systems dynamics and qualitative analysis, we will both reject and overcome the narrowness of the economists. Thereby, we intend to overcome the narrowness of their dogs, the financiers.
In place of money as hitherto conceived as a univocal convertor for all objects — goods, services, and labor — a new item of exchange will be conceived of a bivocal character. We intend for this bivocality to emerge in and through discourse practices, so that collective work and life become their own rewards. The task thereby is their quantification as convertible into goods, services, and labor.
At least at the beginning, a core tenet of the Dialogists must be the intentional constriction of desire. The purpose hereof will be twofold. First, capitalism essentially operates on the limitlessness of desire. It hereby instrumentalizes that desire and converts it into an opportunity for the accumulation of capital. By constricting desire, we enact an intentional friction which, if only in small numbers, resists the gears which turn the capitalist machine. Second, the constriction of desire serves the purpose of the unequivocal explication of cash-expenditure. The old problem of pooling funds has been liquidated through our insistence on consensus. Whoever “uses” the funds to his advantage will do so on pain of immediate recognition by those around him.
This, then, is our immediate solution to the problem of “money” and “economics”: (1) explicit enumeration of immediate needs to be satisfied by community members (2) pooling of funds to ensure collective satisfaction (3) periodic reassessment. Our mediate, or long-term, solution will involve the emergence of the bivocal exchange system, so that the constriction of desire might be relaxed and a new, socialistic system of collective ownership and exchange might be taken up in its place.
Of Utopianism and Scientism
The Dialogists’ position may be summed up thus: the freedom of the world is too much and yet too little; we want more of what has been denied us and less of what we have been given. Namely, we want greater recognition among each other and less consumption in ourselves. What greater inversion of the scales of justice can be seen the world over? Can we not gorge ourselves to our hearts’ content provided we submit to another and do “an honest day’s work”? We reject this sham conversion of submission into exogenous freedom! We want instead to determine freedom endogenously, so that the labor expended is itself endogenously determined. We want hereby to unify work and play, so that both meld into a harmonious whole where one need neither submit to his neighbor nor consume chemicals to stimulate them to do so again!
We open ourselves up to the world thus: come and join us! All you need do is work with us, and we will secure you as best we can. Worry no longer about markets, insurances, food supplies, and whatever else! We will secure you, and you will secure us thereby! We will create a world where each is loved and protected, where none need fancy himself a lone worker, a lone man or woman. Come and join the Dialogists, the Living Body of Man! Speak with us, and we to you will listen!
He who would pervert us will face a clenched fist ready for battle - this is not a threat, but a promise!
The dialogists must outwardly signify themselves as those in the LGBT community do - through some kind of insignia which represents their inmost being.
This insignia might be a face, a word, or something else which demonstrates the commitment to everywhere break open the pre-givenness of self-same society into a new opportunity which attempts to meld horizons towards an ownmost totality. To everywhere be able to look one wearing the pin in the eyes, smile, and ask how they feel today. To invite a friendly - I am doing well, how are you, what is on your mind?
This line appears after every note.