202210311229 📃 elements of a system of social cohesion
¶1. Society coheres doubly, as (1) necessity and (2) freedom. Coherence in necessity is submission to law, or must on pain of some undesireable. Coherence in freedom is action upon law, which is the positive or creative aspect of submission. For acting within what one must do, one has freedom to do what one wills just within those confines.
¶2. Coherence is only and always in thought and in action. In thought, coherence is conscious if and only if some subject A’s recognition of a law is identical with his recognition that relevant subjects B, C, etc. will hold him accountable for having broken the law. If A does not hold that relevant subjects will hold him accountable, he can get away with breaking the law. In action, coherence is practical if and only if subjects hold A accountable despite his consciousness thereof. That is, even if A can temporarily get away with breaking the law, coherence is practical only if B and C can eventually hold him accountable. Coherence is also practical if A holds himself accountable, and thus doesn’t break the law. Enumerating these:
- Thoughtful coherence iff subjective recognition of accountability.
- Practical coherence only if eventual accountability or if self-accountability.
¶3. ¶2.1 = the Big Other (Lacan), the Common Good (Aquinas), Society as moral absolute (Durkheim). ¶2.2a = rule of law (Federalist), ¶2.2b = law of love (Christ, Day, Jefferson). As a Kantian moral maxim, ¶2.2 a can be universalized as “If each would be self-accountable vis-a-vis ¶2.1, all eventual accountability would be actual accountability, so all social cohesion would be actual.” In plain terms:
- if each would self-accountably hold themselves to the laws society recognizes, then society would already always be practically coherent.
And, such accountability can be given negative shape in another Kantian guise:
- If each is not self-accountable according to society’s laws, then society must impose practical coherence on them.
¶4. Coherence is only what men are accounted for, in thought and in action. This is only the consequences of their actions. Thus, it is not true that “if more men believe x, then society(x) will be more coherent” (where “society(x)” designates x as an argument of the function “society,” so that society operates on x, coheres around x). The prior arithmetic view of social cohesion is false. Against it I pose the geometric view of social cohesion, as: “if more men believe and practice x, then society (x) will be more coherent.” Some x believable but impracticable is incapable of social cohesion. For, practice is only holding accountable for believing, so that the more men believe and practice, the more they will be held accountable for their beliefs and practices according to those beliefs. “Right belief” therefore only means right assent to a society’s unanimity, which is only avoidance of transgression of law, ie. “right practice.” Such a view is geometric because, the more beliefs are practiced, the more they are believed - this virtuous circle inclines geometrically, or exponentially, so that a society’s coherence at time t₁ and coherence at time t₂ is not equal to x, but but rather to to x². So, society(t) = society(x²), where x is the belief’s diffusion. Belief diffusion might be measured as the amount of times a judgment is uttered in a conversation - let this be the work of a future ethnography.
- A society is arithmetically coherent if and only if more people in the society believe some judgment x.
- A society is geometrically coherent if and only if more people in the society believe and practice some judgment x.
¶5. Thus, coherence in freedom about x (hereafter designated “freedom(x)”) will be inversely proportional to society(x²), where the freedom in question diminishes just as society(x²) increases. Indeed, Mill and Nietzsche have said as much - the more society coheres around an idea, the less freedom individual members have to tarry with the idea. That is, the more society settles on a belief, the less individual members of the society can alter and shape that belief. However, speculatively, freedom(x+1) and freedom(x-1) increase proportional to society(x²), where x+1 and x-1 designate beliefs orthogonal to belief x. Thus, if x = “it is good to give gifts to friends,” x-1 might = “giving gifts to friends will make them likely to give gifts back,” and x+1 might = “giving gifts to friends will make them more liable to trust you.” x-1 and x+1 thus designate the instrumentalization of x, or the freedom to tarry with x externally, and yet within its confines. This is the creation of freedom by law, as Hegel has pointed out.
- Freedom in believing-practicing x decreases proportional to the geometric increase of a society’s believing and practicing x.
- Freedom in instrumentalizing x (believing-practicing x±1) increases proportional to the geometric increase of society’s believing and practicing x.
¶6. Thus, it is the task of social speculation to ask what “x” might equal so that “x-1 = x” and “x+1 = x,” or so that “x-1 = x+1.” Of course, this is a mathematical absurdity, so speculation must engender a new kind of cognition beyond mere mathematical quantification. That is, we must supersede liberal technicity, as Heidegger and Schmitt call it. This again is a task for a later time. Preliminarily, it begins with the magnitude of x; x = 900 → 899 ≠ 901. However, this difference is qualitatively smaller than that of x = 3 → 2≠4. The intensity or magnitude of x thereby diminishes the magnitude of instrumentality. This explains the “inertia” of social practices - the more intensely they are practiced, the less instrumentalization matters for them. Communism from this standpoint is hypothetical the limit(x) to infinity. The task of social speculation is to thetically bring this about.
¶7. Social cohesion thus begins temporally as (1) the universal dictum ¶3.1, then (2) as some explication thereof as the particular practical premises which each must believe and practice. It is the publication of such dicta that counts as the essentially social function of religion. As such, the publication of these dicta might be called “social ministration,” the objects thereof, after the priest “sermons,” the role of social minister a kind of secular “preacher.”
¶8. Preached premises (some judgments x, y, etc.) are truthful insofar as their content further determines a free coherence, that is, insofar as they (1) diminish instrumentalization (2) allow free expression of other beliefs and practices a, b, etc. without threat to the initial x. This is the success of liberalism from a practical-moral, communicative standpoint. Only money and property are beyond liberal reproach. Post-liberalism reproaches them for even greater diminution of instrumentalization and freedom of expression.
- Thoughtful coherence iff subjective recognition of accountability. (¶2.1.)
- Practical coherence only if eventual accountability or if self-accountability. (¶2.2.)
- if each would self-accountably hold themselves to the laws society recognizes, then society would already always be practically coherent. (¶3.1.) –>  "**would that you believe**"
- If each is not self-accountable according to society’s laws, then society must impose practical coherence on them. (¶3.2.)
- A society is arithmetically coherent if and only if more people in the society believe some judgment x. (¶4.1.)
- Freedom in believing-practicing x decreases proportional to the geometric increase of a society’s believing and practicing x. (¶5.1.)
- Freedom in instrumentalizing x (believing-practicing x±1) increases proportional to the geometric increase of society’s believing and practicing x. (¶5.2.)
- Social speculation must overcome essentially mathematical instrumentalization (¶6.)
- “Social ministration” is a “preaching” of ¶3.1 instantiated in some determinate, particular premises.
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