202210262330 ⭐ prelude to an encyclopedic anthropology of human coordination
¶1. To hit upon an encyclopedic anthropology is to circumscribe man as man, in all his respects. To perform such an anthropology immanently is to determine man’s consciousness in the abstract, so that he comes to act in just those ways he writ himself to be. Thus, per Montaigne, the act of writing is itself an act of self-creation, the laying down of the anthropology an act of man’s own self-legislation.
¶2. The abstraction hereof will, upon the face of another, be always understood prima facie as idealiter, and indeed any and all writing must proceed as such. That is, whoever reads this can always dismiss it as “unrealistic,” as “idealistic.” The secret of idealization, however, is the possibility of an action otherwise. That is, what is idealized is only what is imagined, and this is only a self’s givenness as filtered through the objects it conceives. For, all writing tells the tale of the writer, all poetry sings the song of the poet.
¶3. The problems with which the encyclopedia must be acquainted are numerous. However, they begin in derivation as follows. First, how is it possible that man coordinates himself at all? Second, what must individual men be in order that they be coordinated? Third, what is it that does this coordination? Fourth, who is it that does this coordination? Fifth, who must they be in order that they can perform that coordination? Sixth, how possible is a departure from an established coordination by a new coordination? Seventh, to what extent can the contradictions in a given coordination be ruptured by a coordination which exposes them? Eight, what must exposure be in order that men coordinate otherwise? Nine, what are the ends of coordination as it stands? Ten, what are the ideal ends of any coordination? Eleven, how is it that coordination as it stands is in contradiction, if at all? Twelve, can a non-contradictory coordination be conceived of and, if not, can a minimally-contradictory coordination be conceived of? Thirteen, what can be done in spite of currently-existing coordination to sow the seeds of a new coordination? Fourteen, when are such seeds planted? Fifteen, when do such seeds sprout? These can be enumerated as follows:
- the problem of human coordination
- how is it possible?
- what does it presupposes in the coordinated? (subjective conditions)
- what does it presuppose for the coordinated? (objective conditions)
- the problem of politics
- who is to govern?
- who must they be in order that they do so?
- what are its limits, and when does a new politic arise?
- the problem of the body politic
- when does it fall into contradiction?
- how is it unified? (conditions of exposure / collective experience)
- towards what is it currently oriented?
- the problem of non-contradictory idealization
- towards what ought the body politic be oriented?
- how is contradiction conceivable?
- how is non-contradiction OR minimal contradiction conceivable?
- the problem of socio-political action
- how can one act towards any conceivable non-contradictory body politic?
- how can one know that one’s actions have become sufficiently social?
- when does the body politic as such form, and upon what actions?
¶4. I take these five problems to constitute the whole of human anthropology, considered from the standpoint of human coordination. If these be solved, both transcendentally and immanently, then we have a set of doctrines sufficient for the direction of society. Indeed, their toughest solution is that of the subjectivity pluralism thesis of Arendt and (to some extent) Locke - the transcendental deduction of reasons is insufficient for the immanent practice of those reasons. This is Marx’s first mistake - he thinks that by immanently critiquing capital his work will be sufficient to coordinate human action in spite of capital, to its contrary. He was, historically speaking, wrong on this point, since he did not work out a grammar of power sufficiently delectable enough to tantalize those whose powers were already bound up with capital. What we must do, unlike Marx, is work out a theory of human inevitability, or what men will do unconditionally, regardless of our theorizing about them. This concern must be taken up in 1.2 and 1.3, as both will mediate the general theory of agency, or what men will do conditional to knowledge. These, taken together, are none other than what common parlance calls “human nature.” This is the foremost democratic knowledge, since claims to inevitability are the hermeneutic hypotheses whereby men interpret each other. They are, we might say, the bottommost subjective condition for coordination, since they are a common term about which the one and many circulate. Here, then, we have already begun to work out a theory of coordination’s presuppositions - at least some common, hypothetical belief about inevitable human action seems necessary.
¶5. We can spell out our answers preliminarily as follows:
- Men are coordinated by pragmatic interests at a given time - they do what will confirm their working hypotheses. Working hypotheses a priori concern (1) material resources (2) love (3) death. These are taken up synthetically as the self-concept, which men are everywhere seeking to augment and secure. Coordination is only the substantive securitization of the self-concept. See: 202201061555 📃 the minimum knowledge constitutive of all human action and being.
- Those who can most robustly anticipate the statistical generality are (a priori) fit to govern. Structures must exist for the imposition of statistical generality in order that these people do govern. A new politic arises when some sufficient number of people become statistically unpredictable (according to present statistical presuppositions).
- Contradiction arises when imposed statistical generality fails to account for average-everyday action. A body politic is unified when some generality can so account, transcendentally (in the governors) and immanently (in the governed, as trust). The current-historical orientation of generality is (1) control of the governed (2) material control (3) stasis of enshrined rights.
- Any possible body politic ought be oriented towards (1) the expression of the governed (2) material security (3) the progressive reconstruction of enshrined rights. Contradiction hereof is inconceivable, since reconstruction is a moment of the politic - this is the condition for political (and thereby human) non-contradiction.
- One can act towards political non-contradiction through (1) formal ministry (2) material behavioral-modeling (3) dialectical adjudication of material security. One will know this has worked when (1) others begin practicing your ministration (as (a) perpetuation of actions and (b) repetition of ideas) (2) others act upon you as model (3) one has sufficient abundance to give to others. A non-contradictory body-politic rests on the persistence of these 3 in average everyday consciousness, since these are the subjective conditions of the coordination that a non-contradictory body politic demands. Hereby “knaves” are liquidated - they darken against the backdrop of enlightening love.
- formal ministration - (1) spiritual-social moral exhortation (2) material-personal bodily recognitions (3) coordinated psycho-material labor and consumption practices
- material behavioral-modeling - complete self-charity, self-givenness, exposure
- dialectical adjudication of material security - liquidation of “market” forces by coordinated (charitable) action
¶8. The spiritual-social attitudes exhorted must be sufficiently independent of their material and dialectical consequences so as not to provoke suspicion. Yet, they must ultimately be shown in hints to be incomplete and, just thereby, to only be complete in their material and dialectical conclusions. Exhorting in this manner amounts to nothing short of rewriting prevailing ideology, asserting at first covertly and, as men are initiated, eventually overtly a new ideology in its place. That this be first moral is absolutely necessary, since the moral encounter and the moral criticism is the embryonic precondition for all subsequent social encounters and criticisms. One cannot critique a society without first critiquing at least one person in that society. Thus, the spiritual-moral must at least have a pragmatic function as free-standing apart from its material consequences - this is another mistake made by the Marxists. That is, the spiritual-moral dimension must be shown as such, as a moment of the universe working itself out. Religions hitherto have called this “doctrine” - we call it social technology, spirit (with Hegel) alive and at work in the world. We must anticipate in this (1) the possibility of subversion (2) the actuality of subversion (3) the actuality of ignorance (since ignorance is everywhere actual, and nowhere merely possible). Unlike the Christians, who put on a moral façade, we must do no such thing. No, we must admit to our finitude, that need not conquer the world. Instead, we need only show our agreement by our acts, and nothing more.
¶7. The first act of resistance is thus kenosis, or the complete emptying of the self. Hereon, the world fills it as experience and history give self over to that world. Hereby, the intentionality currently dedicated towards control can be “recircuited” as gift - instead of creating nuclear reactors to power 6-lane highways, we can build houses for each other and help each other grow food we are certain will last. An optimistic thought, a naïve one at that, but one that is by no means impossible. For, what now proceeds as control is only a contradictory circuit, one that runs quite well as contradiction. Only by overloading this circuit, by freely distributing abundance beyond the possibilities of control as hitherto established, will it be shorted. Hereby the circuit-breaker will be engulfed in flames, and intention will construct itself anew, like the marrow and sinews of the phoenix. Hereby non-contradiction will be possible - it will become an opportunity that must be made actual.
A grammar of action and meaning must be engineered that resists subversion. E.g., we can have no universal means of exchange - all exchanges must be bounded to definite acts of social charity. Only hereby, e.g., can men’s worst natures be coopted for the greater good.
This line appears after every note.