General Philosophy Discussion

80 posts / 0 new
Last post
Squee
General Philosophy Discussion

Believe it or don't believe it, but some people think all of the philosophy discussion in the comments section is just a whole lot of meta-blah-blah. Some posted content may be more philosophical than others, but expounding a philosophical perspective contra the posted content is wrong and evil. Evil and wrong = ignorance of forum!

This one time, I was doing-conversation with emile in the comments section and the formatting of our responses to each other made me quit! I don't want to be a quitter because quitting is ignorance of forum.

Here's a big general: what are the epistemological and/or metaphysical foundations for the decisions you make that you consider anarchist decisions?

Sir Einzige
Well for me Anything going

Well for me Anything going back to Heraclitus(pre Socratics) and a Taoist to Zen Ancient framework. The more modern would be Stirner and Nietzsche to be primary. Former for an orientational framework, the latter for an epistemic.

When it comes to the pomo/post-structuralist stuff, my general view is to get Marx and Freud out of the analysis(both are reductionists) and replace them with Stirner and Jung. It would make for a change of language and analysis more conducive to anarchic thinking and overall less wrong.

That's my opening salvo for now.

Anonymous
to take it out of the way

'decisions you make' is all ping no pong etc

Anonymous
Philosophy is best discussed

Philosophy is best discussed while waiting your turn at the gallows. Keep them heads high your aristocratic wannabe posers, gotta fit that rope around your pompous necks.

Squee
In the anarchist society, we

In the anarchist society, we would all take turns hanging people and I'm sure we would discuss philosophy while we wait. Thanks for your input.

Anonymous
Every moment is death

Every moment is death

Post-Biceps
I don't think I'll say anything

I don't think I'll say anything, I've done the full circle ontologically, there's just me now, the sexist racist who washes the dishes for his indigenous friends.

Anonymous
life moves in spirals, rules

life moves in spirals, rules r like straight lines

emile
'philosophy' is a misleading term

the word 'philosophy' makes most people think in terms of working the realm of 'ideas', 'thinking', 'reasoning', and in the process, turning their backs on the pressing problems of the day ['fiddling while Rome is burning']. my view, induced by studying and working in science, is like schroedinger's, mach's etc. that the Western popular view of the world dynamic and the analysis of 'today's pressing problems' is 'Maya', illusion. to pick up on the implications alluded to in Vedic philosophy is therefore to begin to address the real world dynamic; i.e. the physical reality of our actual, natural experience, and to break free of the language-based bewitchment of our understanding [Wittgenstein].

so, point number one. i am not coming 'off line' of the mainstream comments to 'do philosophy' in the sense of coming up with a new and better 'reasoning' about what is going because my sense is that 'reason' is the source of 'illusion'; i.e. the debate that has to happen is about 'what is real' and when a group of people break off and go into the philosophy club, it is assumed that they are going to come up with a better-reasoned analysis of the world dynamic. that's not where i'm coming from; i.e. my aim is to help bring to the surface an awareness that 'reason' is the source of 'Appollonian dreaming illusion' (Maya).

for example, john lennon's quote; "Life is what happens to us while we're busy making other plans" captures the inversion that is characteristic of mainstream Western culture where we put 'reason' based on logical propositions [inherently incomplete in capturing our actual experience] into an unnatural precedence over 'intuition' which comes directly from actual naturally complex experience. both mach and poincare have pounded on this point that (a) our culture uses 'science' to 'correct our experience' [after deriving generalized scientific principles ['universals'] from our experience], and (b) science captures things in purely mechanical [material dynamics] terms while we know that all material dynamics induce transformation in 'fields' of relational influence which are at the same time inducing changes in material dynamics. this reciprocal complementary or self-organizing is captured in Mach's principle, but this is ignored [and not even denied nor dealt with] in Western mainstream 'reason'.

furthermore, in the 'relations-are-all-there-are' view of modern physics, there is no past and no future, there is only 'earlier' and 'later' in the transforming relational activity continuum [a la Heraclitus, Nietzsche, Schroedinger et al].

Western people born, raised (and educated) in the Western culture trust science because of its predictions and proofs, but science bases such predictions and proofs on 'measurements' and scientific measurements can never capture a world that is only given once, as a transforming relational activity continuum. so, scientific reasoning measures what it wants to measure, such as concentrations of DDT and density of mosquito populations and/or military forces and the nasty results caused by the military of rogue leaders like Saddam Hussein, and makes predictions based on these measurements that give the sense of being able to change the variables so as to bring about a [subjectively valued] 'more desired future state' [e.g. no more mosquitoes, or no more saddam hussein] and 'succeeds' in bringing about this desired 'future state', as scientific reasoning predicted that it would [gotta love that scientific 'always coming up with the promised results']. the problem is that 'everything is in flux' [relational transformation] and there is NOT REALLY any such thing as 'the state of the world' that 'changes over time', other than in the intellectual idealizations constituted by subject-verb-predicate language logic ['language game play'].

in other words, we work the problem 'in time' and impute that we can change the 'state of the world' over time so as bring about a 'desired future state', but this 'state of the world' can only be defined by 'what we measure' and 'what we measure' does not capture the physical reality of our actual, natural experience. to say that the world had too many mosquitoes and rogues like saddam hussein and that we were able to use our scientific reasoning to remove them, evidently affirms our scientific modeling of the world [in terms of measurable 'states' that change 'in time'] and 'proves' the correctness of our logical propositions/hypotheses which maintained that a designated suite of causal actions would bring about the specified 'desired future state'.

all of this transpires in an intellectually idealized 'operative reality' based on subject-verb-predicate language constructs and it is otherwise referred to [by Schroedinger et al] as 'Maya', the 'illusion' of a plurality of independent material entities that reside in a notional absolute space and which operate and interact in the passage of absolute time [thanks to the past, present and future tenses in our subject-verb-predicate language constructs].

this idealized world of 'reason', this illusion of a world called 'Maya' by the Vedics that Wittgenstein calls a 'language-based bewitchment of our understanding', is what modern Western society is confusing for reality and using as its 'operative reality'. 'reason' is thus the source of 'illusion'.

so, given that most people think of 'philosophers' as 'fiddling-while-Rome-burns' types who are working on coming up with new and better reasoned ideas as to how to keep the horses in the stable even as the horses are bolting from the stable, i would like to make clear that i am not into 'philosophy' for the purpose of coming up with a superior reasoned view of what is going on in the world, but for intuitively sussing out 'what is real' and 'what is not real', using our actual, natural experience as a reference, instead of innately incomplete reasoning based on absolute 'true or false' logic. in other words, my view is that 'reason' is the source of illusion and 'superior reasoning' is the source of 'superior illusions' [Appollonian dreams].

segregating philosophers from 'direct action types' is like splitting apart the realm of mind from the realm of matter when it is, in the physical reality of our natural experience, all One. the split is part of the 'illusion'.

'philosophy with a hammer' is nietzsche's alternative title for 'twilight of the idols' [Götzen-Dämmerung, oder, Wie man mit dem Hammer philosophirt], and in this treatise, nietzsche is smashing all philosophical views that put reason before our experience-based intuition.

indigenous anarchists put experience-based intuition into a natural precedence over intellectual reasoning, ... that's how they avoid the herd behaviour [when we dream the Appollonian science dream together, it is (an operative) reality] that comes from putting reason into an unnatural precedence over experience.

the real job is to mix in with our brothers and sisters trapped in reason-based illusion and help them to liberate themselves from their Appollonian dreamscapes; i.e. to help restore the understanding that the reality-dichotomy in the expression "life is what happens to us while we're busy working on our reason-based construction of a desired future" does not mean that the latter reality is 'primary' and that our actual experience involves noise that causes departures from primary reality, ... it means that the former reality is the physical reality of our natural experience while the latter reality is intellectually idealized dreamworks.

'anarchism', to me, associates with the restoring of the physical reality of our experience to its natural precedence over reason and 'science'.

the term 'philosophy' is not an appropriate title for such an undertaking since it has been hijacked by those who see 'philosophy' (as in wikipedia and dictionaries) as synonymous with thinking, thought, reasoning; e.g.

"The study of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning."

what is needed is 'philosophy with a hammer' that breaks this constraining mold and restores experience-based 'intuiting' to its natural precedence over linguistic intellectual idealizations based 'reasoning'.

Squee
I'll take a turn...

I'll take a turn...

I talk about existentialists a lot, but that doesn't summarize where I anchor stuff. My favorite writers range. Some other big influences have been Douglas Hofstadter, Tor Nørretranders, Peter J. Carroll. They're all people who have dealt with questions of subjectivity in different ways. That said, I begin with psychology and mostly accept existentialist arguments for why I do. I think Foucault outlined the limits of this quite well and pointed towards other domains of inquiry that existential psychology is contingent upon considering ...which in a round-about-way becomes a social psychology.

In the move towards ethics, politics, anarchism ...this has put me closer to Stirner, Hakim Bey, etc. than others. Sort of. One way I'd put it is that I'm interested in the personal and my approach is the informal. My anarchist decisions (projects I participate in, events I attend, issues I focus on) come out of the intersection of those two qualities. For as much as I like logic puzzles, impersonal discourse isn't my goal.

I also part with thinkers I may be close to because I not only accept, but promote long-term thinking. For instance, one of my main problems with the activities of Identity Politicians is the short-term aspect of the solutions they come up with. Policing language is a problem to me because it's a way to not consider the whole person, to pretend that new words will impact a relationship. However, I don't mean a long-term strategy. My emphasis on informality is an emphasis on a commitment to others as individuals. I have fundamental doubts about an asymmetrical conflict with "the social order" taking the form of an institution or anything that would even pretend to shape character. That doesn't say anything about how I think about revenge, nor other acts of revolts. I just don't think shallow, short-term social thinking is very powerful.

Anyway.

emile
subjectivity and circularity

you speak of your 'anchors'. i find the concept of 'anchors' redundant [it could be that i am misinterpreting your meaning] since they are almost always operationalized, in our Western society, as a 'subjective foundation' aka 'identity'. for my own part, coming from the physical reality of our natural experience, i don't see why any subjective 'anchors' are necessary in a 'foundational' sense [what's wrong with relational balance and harmony?].

'identity' [subjective anchoring] infuses a 'break in symmetry', the natural symmetry being, arguably, purely relational circularity as in the 'panta rhei' understanding of Heraclitus (mentioned by Sir Einzige) and Mach and others.

'flow' is a purely relational dynamic; i.e. it is the union of fielding-and-hitting, listener and speaker, receiver and transmitter that pulls against itself within a relational consciousness [e.g. as in awareness of relational forms within the transforming relational activity continuum].

the world of our experience as purely relational is suggested by our experience-based intuition [panta rhei implies that flow is first and emergent 'things' are relational interdependencies as in a union-in-opposition-with-itself]. this world of experience is replaced in our thought-and-language based intellection [our Western/Scientific noun-and-verb-language-and-grammar], by subject-anchored constructions which serve as an 'operative reality'. for some people [realists], this operative reality is taken to be 'reality' and for others [pragmatist idealists], this operative reality is taken to be a useful rough guiding tool. as Emerson says, Western society is afflicted by 'the tool running away with the workman'.

we are not born with language. it is a cultural development. the thinking functions and 'operative reality' of the infant 'identical-twin' [inherent-misnomer in a fluid universe] raised in a non-dualist indigenous anarchist culture and his brother-twin raised in a dualist colonizer culture are going to differ insofar as they use flow-based language [indigenous] or subject-based language [colonizer] to develop their understandings/views.

so, i am not sure whether you deal with the influence of language shaping our 'operative reality' or simply ignore it, since you speak of 'anchoring' to 'thought' [which is post-lingual or 'reason'-based], rather than to experience.

"I talk about existentialists a lot, but that doesn't summarize where I anchor stuff."

i.e. you seem to advocate building upon 'thinking' [does this over-ride cultivating, restoring and sustaining harmony in the continuing now of relational experience?]

"I also part with thinkers I may be close to because I not only accept, but promote long-term thinking."

orienting to 'the long term' implies 'identity' [the long term of 'what'?]; i.e. 'this is the society/community [anthropocentric organization] we are building together and we must protect and nurture IT.

this is very different from community as a relational form wherein people cultivate and sustain a nurturing relationship with the habitat and one another, and defend against those who would impose their 'identity politics' and install intellectual direction as the engine of the community social dynamic [dismantling the relations with the land so that the community becomes an intellectual 'reason' driven exploitive parasite orienting to anthropocentric self-interest measured in terms of 'wealth accumulation' or 'profit' [a clear contra-nature symmetry break for a relational form in a transforming relational activity continuum, and since it is impossible, it can only happen in an intellectually fabricated 'operative reality'].

i am not trying to put my words in your mouth, ... just raising a question about what you do not mention; i.e. the dependency of your thinking on 'language' as is prevalent in Western civilization where people have abandoned the practice of putting experience based intuition into its natural primacy over simplistic language-and-thought based intellectual idealizations.

in the circular symmetry of non-dualism, forms and systems such as 'community' do not have 'their own identity'. as in the Lamarckian view, inside-outward asserting organizing [les fluides contenables] is excited by outside-inward relational influence [les fluides incontenables aka 'field/flow']. the relational forms are features of the ONE flow that noun-and-verb language-and-grammar endow with 'identity' aka 'subjecthood' so that the flow can be reconstructed from notional 'local entities with their-own (perceived-by-us) individual ID (principium individuationis); i.e. 'ID'-endowed-entities']

post-structuralism as 'the death of the author' COULD BE an acknowledgement of the inherent 'circularity' [impredicative logic] in the world dynamic where it is recognized that 'it takes a whole community to raise a 'child soldier'', but post-structuralism seen as 'the death of the author' is happening in the degenerate sense of the listener having the upper hand in assigning meaning to the speaker's actions and utterances [in the world of forms, epigenesis is in precedence over genesis, flow over form-in-flow]. public shaming and moral judgement are 'dualist' practices that impute jumpstart authorship [genesis] of actions and utterances to 'the author' [breaking the circular symmetry] but these dualist shamers and moral judges, us IDENTITY not only distance themselves ABSOLUTELY from contribution to authorship but reserve for themselves precedence in imputing meaning to the actions and utterances of others. gone is the understanding, as in non-dualist cultures [who opt for restorative justice rather than moral judgement based retributive justice], that "it takes a whole community to raise a child-soldier [criminal, terrorist]". the dualist cry is "don't make excuses for terrorists, criminals, child soldiers".

this dualism that anchors its understanding on 'belief' in intellectual thought-and-language constructs otherwise known as 'identities' delivers a notional absolute separation between individuals, between communities and between individual sovereign states [e.g. Britain and Germany are imputed to be independent entities, even though it took a whole community of European states to raise the child soldier called Nazi Germany].

i have a question re what seems to be contradiction in your mentioning of support for 'long term thinking' and your objection to symmetry breaking in the case of the social order;

"I have fundamental doubts about an asymmetrical conflict with "the social order" taking the form of an institution or anything that would even pretend to shape character."

and your statement that;

"I not only accept, but promote long-term thinking."

'long term' usually implies the 'identity' of something or other. i am not sure what you intend here.

i am not 'trying to find fault'. much if not most of what you say resonates with me, so when a seeming divergence pops up, i am interested in exploring its origins.

Squee
Tor Nørretranders

Tor Nørretranders

In his book, the User Illusion, Tor Nørretranders uses the notion of "exformation" to describe an often unacknowledged aspect of language-use. Exformation is everything we do not actually say but have in our heads when, or before, we say anything at all - whereas information is the measurable, demonstrable utterance we actually come out with. An example of how the concept is used:

Consider the following phrase: "the best horse at the race is number 7". The information carried is very small, if considered from the point of view of information theory: just a few words. However let's assume that this phrase was spoken by a knowledgeable person, after a complex study of all the horses in the race, to someone interested in betting. The details are discarded, but the receiver of the information might get the same practical value of a complete analysis.

Nørretranders also discusses the way that "exformation" relates to entropy, DNA, consciousness, and the cosmos. Here is a decent summary of the book I found at http://www.scaruffi.com/mind/norretra.html:

The Danish mathematician Tor Norretranders has an important thesis: that mind is more than we see. And he has an intriguing sub-thesis: that this is a ubiquitous property in nature. He starts by introducing entropy, and its relationship to information.
James Maxwell showed a flaw in the law of entropy with his imaginary "demon", an intelligent being who manages to separate fast molecules and slow molecules in two separate rooms and therefore create a temperature differential without doing any real work. Maxwell's demon was meant to prove that the law of entropy is valid only "statistically". And it seems to refer more to our intellectual limitations (we are not as smart as the demon) than to a property of the universe. Leon Brillouin started solving the paradox when he discovered that information is a material quantity: information comes from a physical measurement. Wojcieh Zurek finished solving the paradox in 1990 by linking entropy, algorithmic complexity and Turing's machine.
Norretranders then gives a quick overview of the development of mathematical thought in our century: Hilbert, Goedel, Turing, all the way to contemporary algorithmic complexity.
The concept that captures his imagination is "exformation": what is discarded during communication of information.
This concept applies as well to our mind. The senses process huge amount of information but conscioussness contains amost no information at all. Most mental life is not conscious. Large quantities of information are discarded before consciousness occurs. The discarded information, nonetheless, has an influence on our behavior. There is a nonconscious aspect of man that we are not familiar with because we cannot "feel" it.
Consciousness is mostly about what happens inside us, not what happens outside. Sense data are processed according to our brain structure and matched with data in memory, and processed again, and then a conscious feeling arises. Very little of the original sense data is present when the feeling arises. Sense data are filtered by countless neural processes in the brain before they become conscious sensations: we cannot experience the sense data, the original. We can only experience the finished product, never the raw material. We only experience a bit of what our body experiences and even that "bit" is not exactly what the body experienced but a "doctored" version of it. The paradox is that our mind knows more than our consciousness does. There is self-deception on the part of consciousness ("the user illusion" of the title): before we experience it, the content of consciousness has been processed and transformed from its original format. Consciousness presents us with an altered, subjective, tampered with view of reality but doesn't tell us so.
Norretranders separates the conscious (thinking) "I" from the acting (instinctive) "me" (the "I" is responsible for the "me") and draws a (far-fetched) parallel with existentialism.
To locate our place in the universe Norretranders analyzes the relationship between the "me" and Gaia, and resorts to Margulis' theory of evolution through endosymbiosis: each "me" is made of other "me's".
The last part of the book is very speculative and not always plausible, but the core idea (that a lot of data processed by the brain never surfaces in our consciousness and we don't really know what that is) is powerful.

Douglas Hofstadter

Hofstadter is also concerned with the way that problems in mathematics, information, consciousness, and reflective choice relate with each other. In Metamagical Themas he takes up the issue of monism and decision making, among other things. In other words, he addresses the question, "how one thing [the Universe] can lead to self-awareness" (and not just human self-awareness). Like Nørretranders, he ruminates over the appearance of a Self and discusses many of the problems associated with that appearance.

Peter J Carroll

Peter J Carroll is one of the more well-known authors of books on Chaos Magick. Although his discussions of Chaos are by no means comparable to James Gleick, the "magick" emphasis takes Chaos out of the realm of theory and into the realm of practical application. Even then, it isn't the "magick" aspect of Carroll that I find interesting. It is Carroll's notion of multiple selves and the implications of this on praxis, spiritual practice, and decision making. It's similar to Gestalt, but it isn't Gestalt. I also read his work long before Fritz Perls, whose In and Out of the Garbage Pale is also an important book for me.

Anchoring

So considering the above, when I use the term "anchor", I am referring to the assumptions about knowledge, truth, subjectivity, and the way the universe operates that become the "exformation" of statements about anarchism. What is unsaid when someone is discussing matters of anarchist practice. The sort of stuff you get at when you dissemble the dualistic logic of someone's statements.

Long-term thinking

Selves are situational, but some situations are more persistent than others. More persistent situations (such as waged labor, cultural prejudices, and state government) shape the decision-making tree or behavioral menu of those subjects whose identity is contingent upon experiences of those situations. These habits in-turn persist outside the context of such situations. Such habitual behavior is what I think you mean by "identity".

The thing with habits is that they're difficult to change. The literature surrounding addiction is informative in this way. What is noteworthy regarding "long-term thinking" from the study of habit is that you don't see very good results from superficial approaches (D.A.R.E., shaming, short-term counseling programs, etc.). Where you begin to see changes is when someone spends enough time in situations that are no longer inspiring the 'conditioned response' their habit-forming situation had. You also see changes with exposure therapy and the likes, where over time the subject encounters the 'stimulus' without responding the same way they had been: the conditioning 'expires' the more this happens.

So from this perspective, as someone who is mostly concerned with the quality of our relationships with each other (and how they're mediated by authoritarian practices and institutions), I believe that the habits we reproduce Capital, the State, etc. out of will not change until something like different situations are available. This implies a focus on how those different situations may come about.

So that implies infrastructure and care about "comrades" (whatever you want to call them) as my focus. I think attack and shit is great, but it's such an uneven conflict that I think what is powerful is going to come from the quality of the relationships we have with one another.

Informality

Give the above, I also reject a formal counter-power strategy. I take issue with the appearances of formal organizations. One of those issues is that I simply don't recognize anything beneficial to them. The experiments I've been part of based on informal sharing and living together haven't been limited by any lack of official-seeming qualities. The other issues would be the more typically discussed problems of identity that I don't feel a need to rehearse here.

So what this means is that my approach is something more cultural than it is political. It's the actual, long-term relationships we have that trump the "projects" and "actions" to me. It's the informality that focuses attention to how people are actually relating to each other, rather than the representation of consensus (or whatever else) presented by a formal organization.

This is difficult to explain to someone that does not come from a situation of interacting with the same people for almost two decades. However, that is my situation. Over time, it has been the persistence of those relationships that has improved them ...not some organized effort to shame and attack "bad behavior".

I think that this eventually comes back to assumptions about subjectivity and the implications of stuff like Tør Norretranders' emphasis on exformation. This is also the path through which I attempt to understand your emphases: as pointing towards the exformation of relational inclusion in a dynamic and shared living space. Something language does through its exclusions and not through its extant notations.

Sir Einzige
Dupont has talked about

Dupont has talked about things like therapeutic spaces as well as emphasizing a relaxing(as opposed to refusing) of constraints. Like him I also agree on paying attention to the habitual fall backs and defaults of human beings beyond their radical positions.

Like Seaweed, I prefer friendship to position/solution based comradery. Very much concur that quality relationships matter.

Good interesting post.

Squee
Seaweed?

Seaweed?

dot
seaweed is

a pretty well-known green anarchist-y author (wrote land and freedom)

https://littleblackcart.com/books/land-and-freedom-an-open-invitation/

emile
seaweed seems to be caught up in the Western illusion

let's be real. Western institutions are not 'real', they are intellectual idealizations. the sovereign state and other such authoritarian institutions along with the 'global grid of institutions' is purely 'belief based intellectual idealization'. of course this belief influences individual and collective behaviour aka the 'the interdependent society-nature relational dynamic' in the manner that any other religious cult belief base does. that does not make these institutions, portrayed as independent local internal process driven and directed structures 'real' in the sense of the physical reality of our natural experience.

seaweed says;

The fact is that authoritarian civilization, structurally, is a global grid of institutions, a vast network of impersonal social structures that consists of the inherited capacities of the first priests, aristocrats, bullies and their sycophants and toadies. That is a lot of capacity. However I choose to believe that there probably is a critical mass of ungovernable individuals who could theoretically push back these ideological bases of authoritarianism and thereby claim some space to experience freedom in a much fuller degree (if not in its fullest). If that ever happens, then perhaps the whole nightmare will come to a close because death blows, whether from external punches or internal failures, become more possible when the enemy is weakened."

what we are faced with is not a fight between 'independent/ungovernable individuals' and 'a global grid of institutions', what we are faced with is a collective insanity arising from belief in intellectual abstractions such as 'independent beings' and 'independent institutions' that are seen as internal process driven and directed machines. this is insanity which Nietzsche euphemistically calls 'a great stupidity'.

this is not a challenge faced by 'men-and-institutions-as-independent-reason-driven machines', ... the challenge is to free our minds from intellectual bewitchment that has us believing that men and institutions are independent internal process driven machines.

seaweed
lets be real

Your characterization gives the false impression that fighting against organized political authority (institutions) is the silly undertaking of the philosophically naive. Sure, in a very strict sense, institutions aren't "real", but that isn't how I or other anarchists ( see Wolfi Landstreicher's writing specifically for instance) use the expression.

Institutions are real in that their existence affects people's bodies/lives/minds/emotions. Real humans sit in jail cells because of institutions. Real humans have no food because of the real actions of the functionaries of institutions. If the institution didn't exist, then the activities of the functionary would have no result in the physical world. Flesh and blood people are being tortured because of the policies that the human managers of these institutions enforce. Institutions contain/represent social/political/economic power and as such can be dismantled. Emile you know (and perhaps I have read your comments here wrongly)if you have read any amount of my writing (and that of many other anarchists)that dismantling them doesn't just mean taking down a building or a physical structure( but hey when a crowd of people pull down the statues of tyrants or tear apart a torture center they are dismantling their internalized belief in said institutions). So sure they are chimera from a certain point of view, but you are dismissing my perspective (which is essentially the perspective of most radicals isn't it?) based on your assumption that we haven't considered the notion of intellectual abstractions. Fredy Perlman (have you read his stuff?) likened the aggregation of intellectual abstractions/institutions/ideologies/centralized political authority/economics/domination generally to a corpse that ironically is being led by living humans. So again, of course institutions aren't real in the sense of a tree or a chair or an arm, but there are belief systems and political/social structures that are managed by humans ( some might argue that humans are just functionaries of these structures) and these structures directly affect peoples lives. The challenge when facing private property or economics or conscription into an army or the gun of a cop isn't to just say I don't believe in you, I am a free thinker so now you can disappear (as though we are talking about a childhood fear like a boogeyman).

I think you are missing an essential component to confronting our belief in intellectual abstractions, and that is facing the fact that we are physically occupied, dispossessed, conquered people. Nation states occupy our habitats. Resisting this occupation isn't a philosophical undertaking.

In my pamphlet "Of martial traditions and the art of rebellion" i wrote:

" Over the centuries we've internalized many of the values and ideas of the conquerors ( political authority/ideology/bullyism) and have thus been assimilated into the ways of the obedient and the domesticated. But I'd like to explore our physical occupation, not the various skins that we must shed and the fears we must lose."

So from my point of view our challenge is to not only address our belief in intellectual abstractions (the snake that doesn't shed its skin perishes) but to confront the bullies (nation-states) who have overrun our habitats and villages. I disagree with your description that our occupation, our dispossession, is simply the result of a collective insanity of a "great stupidity". Free people were brutally beaten and coerced into submission, not slowly spoon fed ideological frameworks. We can't just withdraw (shed skins, heal, hide, philosophize, etc.), we also need to attack (stand in the way of, prevent, defend, dismantle, tear down, kick over, stop, repulse).

Again from " Martial traditions and the art of rebellion"

"We are all damaged people who need to heal and not just fight. We partly do this with others with whom we share affinities and openness for intimacy. We also need to analyze civilization and domination generally, and share our insight through debates, pamphlets and discussion. And we need to create communities/cultures of resistance by contributing to the various struggles and projects that fellow rebels are involved in."

To use a trendy phrase, i think that you are being seduced by a false binary-i really do believe that our challenge is a fight -a real martial contest as well as a need to shed skins-between ungovernable individuals and a global grid of institutions.

The collective insanity arising from a generalized belief in intellectual abstractions is difficult to overcome when we are like defeated automatons (good citizens) in hospital psych wards (societies) on meds (ideologies) watched over by nursing attendants (police and priests)and feeling guilty and unsure about rebelling ( feeling that we need to restrain our passions and intuition in favor of an intellectual process). Part of freeing ourselves will involve throwing the meds in the garbage, getting together with other patients and shoving the doctors and attendants out of the way as we smash the windows and jump into the great outdoors to heal and self-organize so that we can tear down the hospital.

emile
i have no problem with where you are coming from

i feel ‘cameraderie’ but at the same time ‘frustration’ with the manner in which you RE-present what is going on. i think there’s a problem here that is going to inhibit the sort of transformation we are all wanting to bring about.

you say;

Institutions are real in that their existence affects people's bodies/lives/minds/emotions. Real humans sit in jail cells because of institutions. Real humans have no food because of the real actions of the functionaries of institutions. If the institution didn't exist, then the activities of the functionary would have no result in the physical world. Flesh and blood people are being tortured because of the policies that the human managers of these institutions enforce. Institutions contain/represent social/political/economic power and as such can be dismantled.”

no, no, no. institutions do not exist other than as intellectual ideals that manifest through relational social dynamics. like the institutions known as ‘sovereign states’, they are ‘secularized theological concepts’. these are not my words, they are the words of law historians.

what difference does it make to regard institutions as real? neitzsche pointed this out and i often quote him, but it is only because he makes a good point and expresses it well. the point is this, the world of our experience is a relational activity continuum, but when we impute ‘being’ to activities, we notionally [by intellectual idealization] jumpstart cause-effect actions from out of the activity we have endowed [thank you noun-and-verb language-and-grammar and its subject-verb-predicate constructs] with ‘being’. ‘institutions’ are a case in point; i.e. they are, in the physical reality of our actual experience, ‘activities’, relational activities and there is no such thing as cause-effect action that jumpstarts out from a ‘being-thing’ such as the word-label-defined 'institution-thing' [e.g. the sovereign state]. so, ... beware the error we make, and its consequences, when we assume that behaviour JUMPSTARTS out of a ‘thing’ that is, in physical reality, a relational activity within the overall relational activity continuum. as nietzsche observes;

“We enter a realm of crude fetishism when we summon before consciousness the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language — in plain talk, the presuppositions of reason. Everywhere reason sees a doer and doing; it believes in will as the cause; it believes in the ego, in the ego as being, in the ego as substance, and it projects this faith in the ego-substance upon all things — only thereby does it first create the concept of "thing." Everywhere "being" is projected by thought, pushed underneath, as the cause; the concept of being follows, and is a derivative of, the concept of ego. In the beginning there is that great calamity of an error that the will is something which is effective, that will is a capacity. Today we know that it is only a word”

the world is a transforming relational activity continuum. this is according to the physical reality of our experience. the activities in the americas during colonization were part of the overall global activities and one didn’t have to have a map of the world listing all of the current names and patchwork outlines of ‘sovereign states’ (which continually emerge, disappear, change in form and size and relation according to the intellectual whims of politicians and power mongers) in order to understand that. one day, on july 4th 1776, an intellectual declaration of the existence of the sovereign state called ‘The United States’ was announced in the then-equivalent of a ‘press release’. the following day forward, subject-verb-predicate constructs were formulated that ‘personified’ the new noun-subject, imputing jumpstart powers to it, in the manner we personify and impute jumpstart powers to a convection cell in the flow of the atmosphere; e.g. ‘Katrina’.

let’s be real. there is a 'relational activity’ there, not a thing. furthermore, this activity, as the systems sciences have noted, is included in a relational suprasystem so that it is not a local activity-in-itself. instead of ‘the institution known as ‘the U.S.A.’ does such and such’, ... the physical reality is the transforming relational activity continuum within which the cult of believers in ‘the existence of the sovereign state’ are modifying their behaviours according to the views and directives and purpose of the crony club of believers in the ‘existence’ of the sovereign state.

the indigenous aboriginal people are going to say, ... ok, these European colonizer people have decided that they want to believe in the existence of an institution that has a centre of authority whose power is absolute and which must be obeyed even if one is asked to do something in its service that will mean one’s certain death.

“The notion of “absolute, unlimited power held permanently in a single person or source, inalienable, indivisible, and original” is a definition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. This “God died around the time of Machiavelli…. Sovereignty was … His earthly replacement.” Walker, R. B. J. and Mendlovitz, Saul H. “Interrogating State Sovereignty.”
.
All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts, not only because of their historical development … but also because of their systematic structure. Bartelson, Jens. A Genealogy of Sovereignty.
.
State sovereignty “is a ‘religion’ and a faith.” Lombardi, Mark Owen. “Third-World Problem-Solving and the ‘Religion’ of Sovereignty: Trends and Prospects.”

this centre of absolute power which gives rise to the characteristic authoritarian leader-follower relational dynamic, DOES NOT EXIST in the physical reality of our natural experience. it is an intellectual idealization. i don’t believe in its existence. there may be an idiot sitting on a throne in the place that is said to be where the centre of authority is located, and it may happen that masses of people around him believe in his absolute power and in the authoritarian leader-follower protocol and will do what he says even if it means certain death to them, but that is the way that ‘secularized theological entities’ otherwise known as ‘institutions’ work. of course, many of us, when asked to carry out directives that are likely to result in our death, will at that point ‘break religious belief rank’ and say; ‘fuck you jack, ... i’m outta here’.

let’s go back to what you said;

Institutions are real in that their existence affects people's bodies/lives/minds/emotions.

wrong!

you might instead have said;

BELIEF THAT INSTITUTIONS REALLY EXIST affects people’s bodies/lives/minds/emotions.

because institutions sure as hell DO NOT EXIST in any physical sense [their existence is implied by relational activity patterns], and just because there is a ‘capital city’ and ‘some buildings’ where all the believers say that the absolute power inhabits that issues directives that must be obeyed, does not prove there is anything physically real coming out of there. all that comes out of there is ‘words’ and ‘directives’ and providing there are believers who speak the lingo and who listen to, and execute the directives, this supports the notional existence of the institution and its central authority.

what is needed then, is what indigenous aboriginal leaders say is the number one need; i.e. ‘to undermine the intellectual premises of colonialism’ [colonialism is perpetrated through cultivating intellectual belief in its institutions which manifests physically through relational social dynamics].

tell me how you are going to ‘dismantle an institution’; i.e. you say;

“Institutions contain/represent social/political/economic power and as such can be dismantled.”

supposing king george III had gotten to george washington and others and convinced them that it was a bad idea to split off from the institution known as ‘the British Empire’. if the belief in the splinter nation was abandoned, then there would be no ‘U.S.A.’; i.e. it is all about intellectual idealization which modifies behaviours in the transforming relational activity continuum. it is fully possible to live in the world without believing in the existence of institutions. one just has to be careful of how one handles oneself when one engages with ‘believers’. and, of course the believers make a real physical difference because of their beliefs in such things as absolute authority-directed leader-follower relations. this is also true of the Caleban people sent by the Bureau, who have come through the God wall from the Dosadi experiment. They too, are imprisoning and torturing real humans.

Conclusion:

Western civilization has used noun-and-verb Indo-European language-and-grammar to construct a synthetic ‘being-based’ ‘operative reality’. This ‘being-based and intention-driven and directed operative reality’ is nothing like the physical reality of our natural experience, but it behooves us to go along with it’s notional ‘institutions’ such as ‘sovereign states’, otherwise, we can get into a lot of trouble with the notional ‘absolute authority’ that sits in the centres of these ‘secularized theological concepts’ (intellectual idealizations). these notional ‘central authorities’ take themselves very seriously, and furthermore, they retain standing armies and police forces that will ‘make believers out of those’ who ignore their claims.

Why should we NOT take them seriously as you clearly are?

For my own part, I see ‘people’ who religiously believe in institutions and who follow the directives of the supreme central authorities of the institutions that they belong to, to the point that they would give their life's labours if not their lives in the service of their institution. In the physical reality of my natural experience, i have to deal with the dynamics that unfold that are shaped by the various beliefs of others in this relational social dynamic, including whatever variants might be around viz. the Christians, the Muslims the Jews, the Buddhists, the Caleban, the Satan worshippers, Sun worshippers, Druids and many more, but that doesn’t mean that i have to believe in any of it. i believe in my experience and i like to be amongst others who put their belief in their own experience ahead of any secularized theological and/or religious dogma based belief systems.

If I were to believe in the ‘reality’ of those institutions, and/or in the Bureau of the Dosadi experiment that lies beyond the God-wall, it would be something that i would have to deal with. I would prefer to just get on with the physically real stuff of my own experience which has no place for independently-existing anything and thus no place for ‘centres of intelligence and authority’ that are implicitly needed to author their institutional development and behaviour. Of course this makes me a heretic, like the Zapatistas and like indigenous anarchists in general, and this means that i may have to defend myself from the institution’s missionaries who claim authority over all the land, including the land that i am living in and dependng upon for my and my family and friends’ well-being and continuance. Ok, I accept the potential issues arising from my heretical non-belief, but i prefer not to provoke direct conflict with ‘believers’ [who include relations and colleagues etc.] and to focus my energies on ‘undermining the intellectual premises of colonialism’ and supporting the interests of real humans sitting in jail cells, real humans that have no food and flesh and blood people being tortured

ok, i am in no way expecting you to, in the near term, buy into the view that i share, with a small minority of people from Western cultural origins, myself included, but with a much larger group of Orientals (Buddhists, Taoists, Vedics) and indigenous aboriginals, that ‘relations are all there are’ and that the thing-based ‘operative reality’ that is regarded in everyday conversations as ‘reality’, is ‘illusion’ (Maya). that’s where i am coming from in saying that ‘institutions are not real’, they are belief-based patterns of relational activity within the transforming relational activity continuum. As the systems sciences have noted, the system we know as a ‘university’ can be described as an ‘institution’ and defined by its internal components and processes [departments, faculties, teachers, students, edifice/plant etc.] but since every system is included in a relational suprasystem where it fulfills some or other needs [e.g. it gathered as a pattern of sustained relational activity within the relation social dynamic of the community-at-large], it can be understood in a larger sense as a ‘relational activity’ rather than as a local system with its own internally driven development and behaviour.

nevertheless, as far as i can see, we agree in our problem identification if not in our manner of expressing the anatomy of these problems, which impacts how we see the resolution of the problems. you see ‘institutions’ as the source of the problems and i see belief-shaped relational social dynamics as the source of the problems.

i have previously cited a spanish anarchist essay beating on this same issue entitled ‘nihilist recuperation’ which makes the point that the institutions such as ‘the state’ are the ‘symptoms’ of a relational belief system [submission to central authority] and attacks on the institutions, however, successful, will be futile without dealing with the belief-based relational dynamics that underlie them.

“But the State does not only exist in its material forces, rather also in the social relations it reproduces, and a relation cannot be destroyed without simultaneously creating a new relation. A building can be destroyed without constructing a new one, but a relationship of alienation cannot be ended without the creation of another type of relationship. There is always a relation between the beings and bodies in the same space.Without speaking of the creation of new social relations, we cannot speak honestly about the destruction of the State. To put it another way, we have come upon a bifurcation between the proposal to attack the State and the proposal to destroy the State. The proposal that speaks most of destruction, the nihilist one, may be unable to realize it because it dedicates itself only to the attack. It would be a very sad vision of “permanent revolt”: forever attacking the symbols of the State without ever being able to touch the base of its power. “ – Anonymous, from Barcelona Indymedia (translated from Spanish)

seaweed
further thoughts

Emile- " institutions ... exist ... as intellectual ideals that manifest through relational social dynamics."
Emile- " institutions’ ... are, in the physical reality of our actual experience, ‘activities’, relational activities"

So you are saying that institutions exist but are really just activities-does anyone disagree?

Emile-" … there may be an idiot sitting on a throne ... that is said to be where the centre of authority is located, and it may happen that masses of people around him believe in his absolute power and in the authoritarian leader-follower protocol and will do what he says even if it means certain death to them, but that is the way that ‘secularized theological entities’ otherwise known as ‘institutions’ work."
And again: emile-" Western civilization has used noun-and-verb Indo-European language-and-grammar to construct a synthetic ‘being-based’ ‘operative reality’. This ‘being-based and intention-driven and directed operative reality’ is nothing like the physical reality of our natural experience, but it behooves us to go along with it’s notional ‘institutions’ such as ‘sovereign states’, otherwise, we can get into a lot of trouble with the notional ‘absolute authority’ that sits in the centres of these ‘secularized theological concepts’ (intellectual idealizations). these notional ‘central authorities’ take themselves very seriously, and furthermore, they retain standing armies and police forces that will ‘make believers out of those’ who ignore their claims."

The existence of those relational activities-from belief in the legitimacy of the organization to the policies and orders that flow from its apex-can actually cause harm to people. Isn’t that what I am claiming?

Are you just making the claim that institutions do not exist as objects in physical reality? If so then I think that you are letting the influence of( your own) language shape your 'operative reality'.
Our challenge is to eradicate ideologies (when ideas have us instead of the other way around) and the impersonal institutions that arise from belief in them. I am not saying that dismantling religion or banks or nation-states only involves a physical struggle between competing ideological cults -i.e anarchism versus social hierarchy. It’s an internal and external struggle.

You seem to take your personal beliefs and opinions and templates as "truths". And repeating them doesn't make them true! This seems odd in the context of philosophical conversations. Your description of physical reality as a transforming relational activity continuum does, in several respects, sound about right to me, but do you really think we can adequately describe it with 4 human words? In fact you/we might be completely wrong! Or accurate now but wrong later. After all the universe itself will likely end up being an immense, vacant, black and indescribably deserted place, so there won’t be any continually transforming relational activity occurring in any continuum; just eternal, cold, dark silence. I also get the sense that there might be some small degree of disingenuity here-picking out certain of my phrases to give an impression of my having a belief in institutions as "beings" or "things" that exist independently and therefore can be attacked and dismantled within some sort of strictly martial narrative.

Here’s a parable I came up with for my book: “ No one can see the whole mountain”. Emile, your description of the dark side or sunny side or snowcap or west face of reality might be accurate, but you have to admit that you can only see one small aspect of the whole. The full picture takes all of our perspectives shared in poetry, song, philosophy, dance, actions, visions, etc. That’s why I prefer conversations around a meal or campfire or while doing a shared activity to internet debates and essays in books-nuance, facial expression, humor, humility etc. can all come into play and the conversation is thus richer.

And in only one sense are institutions mere idealizations propped up by an extensive cult of believers-who in turn have at their disposal armies and police and inspectors and bailiffs and prisons to enforce the interests of their secularized theological concept.

What you seem to ignore is that the word ‘institution’ is also just a simple useful term to denote formal organizations within hierarchical social orders. They are, from a sociological point of view, stable social structures intended to maintain and perpetuate order. Nation states are institutions for instance and there is a very real dynamic of self-organization built into most, in not all of, them. That is they continue to exist regardless of the difference between the humans who come and go and function within/inhabit them. Are you denying that these formal organizations exist? Or are you saying that the only way to dismantle them is to stop believing in them? Or are you saying something entirely different?

In another thread you wrote: “The problem is this. All three of these options portray man as an asserting agent that ‘does stuff’ that ‘makes a difference’ (agents of construction, agents of destruction, and agents who practice some of both). This suggests a view of the world in which man, as an independent reason-driven agent of cause-effect results, has the power to construct a desired future state [where did the world-as-a-transforming-relational-activity-continuum disappear to?]”

But wait a minute Emile! Humans can have intent and do influence their future, how can you deny that? I can agree with my lover to have sex later tonight! Yay! Pleasure awaits! I can get together with a group of friends and destroy the enemies defensive apparatus (forest ranger outpost, logging company’s locked gates, surveillance cameras, etc.) so that we can travel freely within a region that was previously denied to us. Neighbors can join together and plan a community orchard and then plant one and a few years later harvest the results. Examples are endless.

Its true that ‘humans’, i.e. all of humanity, can’t ever get together and plan a future. And generally once the group is massified it doesn’t work. But small groups of people who share affinities and interests can. You mention admiring the Zapatistas- well if ever there was a group of people who believed in their ability to be agents of destruction and construction, it is the Zapatistas. They withdrew, planned and trained for years before attacking and trying to claim some territory within which to experiment. This is a nuance (that of scale) which you don’t seem to make use of.

Finally if you assert that a) institutions aren’t real and therefore can’t be dismantled through social struggle and b) that humans inherently, by definition, are never agents of destruction or construction or even a mix of both, then what/who on earth has been invading and destroying and conquering and colonizing human settlements and groups for millennia? And what/who has been resisting that imperialism (of the market or authority or bullyism or whatever)? It’s either institutions or people with intent.

The story of humans isn’t one of passive objects being pushed hither and thither by the purely chaotic relational activity energies of an ever transforming continuum that adheres to principles of modern physics and Taoism. It is the story of individuals banding together for subsistence and roaming free until bullies (antecedents to centralized authority) formed organizations (antecedents to institutions) that invaded other people’s habitats. It is the story of humans banding together in groups to create and or destroy, as agents capable of doing so. And that is the story that we need to continue writing.

emile
oops, didn’t see your response until just now.

you write;

Emile- " institutions ... exist ... as intellectual ideals that manifest through relational social dynamics."
.
Emile- " institutions’ ... are, in the physical reality of our actual experience, ‘activities’, relational activities"
.
So you are saying that institutions exist but are really just activities-does anyone disagree?

i am making the point that nietzsche and whorf make that we make a ‘subject’ out of an ‘activity’ and then have that subject inflect a verb which makes it appear as if the subject is the author of the action.

as whorf says; in our noun-and-verb Indo-European/Scientific language-and-grammar, we break apart a relational activity into an actor-action pair. nietzsche used the example ‘lightning flashes’ to make this point.

so, yes, there are people who believe that ‘institutions exist’ and that they are the authors of actions. this is the breaking down of an ‘activity’ into an actor-action pair. for example ‘precipitation’ is a relational activity but it is fairly common for people to say ‘it rains’ and ‘the river flows’ and thus to attribute to a ‘relational activity’ such as the relational transforming of the terrain, actor-action pairs [rocks fall, rivers flow] and thus to RE-present relational activity in a one-sided, actor-action [all-hitting, no-fielding] manner. this intellectual idealization of an activity as an ‘institution that exists’ and is capable of authoring action sets up an ‘operative reality’ [intellectual idealization based operative reality] that is, in nietzsche’s view, and also my own, a major problem with Western civilization because when people ‘believe in this operative reality’ in which ‘institutions are not just relational activity patterns but are seen in an ‘actor-action’ context, then comes moral judgement which, in Western civilization, would attribute full and sole responsibility to the institution for ‘an action’ which could be ‘good’ or could be ‘bad’.

the objection to this [nietzsche, whorf] is that the institution, in physical reality, can only be a relational activity within a transforming relational activity continuum. a ‘relational activity’ is NOT REALLY reducible to an actor-action pair which implies one-sided all-hitting, no-fielding cause-effect behavioural powers which is where ‘moral judgement’ finger-pointing the institution as actor-author of an action. that is intellectual idealization that is fabricated using subject-verb-predicate constructs that contradicts the understanding of the institution as a relational activity within a transforming relational activity continuum.

so, this view of the institution in an actor-action context SEEMS TO BE how most people would interpret your statement;..

Institutions are real in that their existence affects people's bodies/lives/minds/emotions.

if you are saying that the institution and its functions can be held fully and solely accountable for the results of their actions, and that the rest of us who are non-members are ‘innocent’ of any responsibility for the actions of the institution, then we are no longer saying that the institution is a relational activity [in a relational activity, there can be no offender-victim, guilty-innocent split].

a storm cell is a relational activity and while it is a local organizational form with an implied centre, the relational activity that constitutes the cell is not authored by the cell. that is nietzsche’s point with his comments on ‘errors of grammar’. our ‘error’ is to take a relational activity and then use ‘errors of grammar’ to RE-present it as a ‘thing’ that ‘authors action’ as in an actor-action pair. before we declare a state to exist or a city, within the overall relational activity, a local relational activity forms like a whirlpool in a river-flow, and then we give it a name and make a subject and attribute ‘action’ to it in an actor-action sense. that’s the point of nietzsche’s ‘lightning flashes’ ‘error of grammar’.

before people start labelling and subjectizing regional whirlpools (relational activities) in the global relational activity, we have these local relational activity patterns which could be called cities, enterprises, communities, states, institutions etc. which by no mean ‘author’ their own actions in an actor-action sense. but once we have given them a name and start using that name in subject-verb-predicate constructs, it appears as if their relational activity is locally authored ‘by themselves’ as directed by their internal functionaries. this is bullshit. it is intellectual idealization. it is make-believe that the functionaries would like everyone to believe.

but you seem to be promoting belief in the ‘reality’ of ‘institutions’ in an actor-action context such that one could morally judge the institution for ‘its actions’, good or bad.

a farming institution (enterprise, corporation) can form in a valley that has been a farming community for a long time and is a strand in the web of an interconnected matrix of relational activity of global scope, and when the agricorp buys their way in, we start using the actor-action error-of-grammar talk, making it seem as if the agricorp is the author of foodcrop production. yesterday it was family farmers and the very next day after the agricorp has filed its papers and signed its labour contracts and its lawyers and the courts and regulatory authorities do their intellectual mumbo-jumbo and ‘file the papers’, the institution is officially the author of foodcrop production.

this is all intellectual idealization based on errors of grammar. the same players are producing the foodcrop production as always, whether through family farms or co-ops. there is just a new ‘sign’ hanging over them along with new functionaries who identify themselves as the ‘directors’ who are the authors of foodcrop production by way of their directives, and if the legal institutional ownership and the teams of functionaries changed 100 times, we could still say that such and such an institution was the author of foodcrop production, and this would be affirmed by the fact that they collect the money for the harvested crops that are sold in the market and the owner-producer of the foodcrops is the one who gets paid for them, and the owner-producer is determined by the courts and this can change overnight, although farm production as a relational activity can be ongoing while new signs declaring institutional ownership and new functionaries can come and go over top of this relational activity.

if 100 ownership shingles along with 100 teams of functionaries come and go over top of this relational activity and if they all have abusive labour practices and are using inappropriate fertilizers that are progressively concentrating and contaminating the soil, rivers and lakes, then when we want to settle accounts for the damaging results of abusive labour practices [e.g. worn out people with no retirement plan and no medical coverage] and contamination of rivers and lakes, do we look to the ‘institutions’ in an actor-action sense?

you say;

Real humans sit in jail cells because of institutions. Real humans have no food because of the real actions of the functionaries of institutions. If the institution didn't exist, then the activities of the functionary would have no result in the physical world. Flesh and blood people are being tortured because of the policies that the human managers of these institutions enforce. Institutions contain/represent social/political/economic power and as such can be dismantled.”

institutions are not real physical things, they are intellectual idealizations, legal entities defined by pen and ink such as ‘The Declaration of Independence of the 13 United States of America’. what is real is the relational activities that were continuous across the boundary of the sudden birth of the institution and the sudden appointment of its functionaries. yesterday, they could not have been responsible for anything, but the day after they declared the existence of the institution, they are fully and solely responsible for the actions of the institution.

in other words, the intellectual idealizations take precedence over the physical reality of our natural experiencing [of continuing relational activity], at least in the minds of the ‘believers’ in such declarations of the existence of the institution, and not everyone is a believer.

if you are a believer, then you will believe that the institution’s functionaries are responsible for the actions of the institution.

if there were no believers, then the institution could not exist.

if you don’t like what the institution is doing, then you can stop believing in it. if you stop believing in it, then it does not exist and therefore you can’t blame the institution’s functionaries for the harmful actions of the institution.
so long as you blame the functionaries of the institution for causing harm, you are a believer in the existence of the institution, and it is belief in the institution and nothing else that affirms the existence of the institution.

by holding the functionaries of the institution responsible for harm done to the people, you are professing belief in the actor-action existence of the institution and it is belief such as yours that enables the persisting existence of the institution.

it is problematic, generally, to believe in the existence of institutions formed by written or spoken declarations of intent, and to make that the core of one’s social organizing scheme. those people who never believed in the existence of the institution in the first place will not be able to attribute harmful results to the institution and its directors/functionaries, but they will be able to attribute harmful results to the crazies that believe in the existence of the institutions; i.e. the European colonizers of the Americas who bring with them this practice of putting reason and morality into an unnatural precedence over experience-based intuition and natural instinct.

my view is that institutions such as sovereign states and corporations are belief-based intellectual idealizations and i don’t have a problem with them because, like indigenous anarchists, i don’t believe in their existence, and my view is that the habit of believing in them is the source of social confusion and incoherence. so my problem is with the habit of believing in institutions and not with institutions since i do not believe in them.

meanwhile, you say to me;

“You seem to take your personal beliefs and opinions and templates as "truths". And repeating them doesn't make them true!”

my writing is about not buying into anyone’s ‘beliefs’ and ‘truths’ such as the belief in the existence of institutions. this is the core point being made by nietzsche and others, that relational activity does not have to be interpreted in an actor-action context. not the human and not the institution need be interpreted in an actor-action context. in the indigenous aboriginal languages, the human is a relational activity, a ‘verb’ [a relational activity within the transforming relational activity continuum] rather than a noun that inflects verbs.
you further state your belief in the ‘reality’ of institutions and then ask me if i am denying their existence. i have already said it many, many times, but i will say it again; ‘institutions’ are intellectual idealizations. they do not exist in a physical sense. they are concepts that we keep ‘in mind’ and they are very fashionable in the globally dominating Western culture, so much so that it is seriously ‘politically incorrect’ not to at least feign belief in them (or be marginalized like the indigenous aboriginal non-believers); i.e. you say;

they [nation states] continue to exist regardless of the difference between the humans who come and go and function within/inhabit them.

you’ve got it upside down. it is the people of Europe that continually come and go while politicians keep drawing up new boundaries and divisions and names of ‘nation states’ over top of them. have a look at the changing boundaries of Poland and its neighbours over the past few centuries as the political-intellectuals repetitively painted new patchwork quilts over prior patchwork quilts with the same families asking themselves, what nation are we supposed to say we are citizens of this year?

people come and go in fertile valley communities and seaports, where continuous habitation is continuous over thousands of years while political designations such as empires [greek, roman, turkish, arabic] and nation states come and go as if the peasant population could care [apart from being conscripted into military service].

you ask if i deny the existence of these formal organizations, and as i keep saying, and not just to you but in all my writing, these institutions are intellectual idealizations and no, i don’t believe in them just as indigenous aboriginals don’t believe in the existence of the sovereign state [after all, it is a secularized christian theological concept featuring a notional supreme central authority], however, i certainly do not deny there are people out there who believe in their existence, and it is this belief in institutions that shapes the behaviours of those that do, which makes it hard on us non-believers [the indigenous aboriginals of turtle island discovered this early on] who are forced to humour the believers or else receive visits from the military and/or police s to encourage our believing or 'to make believers out of us']. that is, you say or ask;

“Are you denying that these formal organizations exist? Or are you saying that the only way to dismantle them is to stop believing in them? Or are you saying something entirely different?”

i am saying that institutions are intellectual idealizations that exist only in the minds of believers and the imaginary boundaries and the imaginary actor-action dynamics are not physically real, but are talked about and pointed to as if they are real. one day people will talk about jugoslavia doing this and that and the next day people will talk about serbia and croatia doing this and that, and they could be talking about the very same things; i.e. the activities are real but the subject-verb-predicate, actor-action constructs are intellectual idealization.

i am saying what the zapatistas are saying; i.e. they do not want to go to war with mexico, which claims to own chiapas, they choose to believe that the land-owning sovereign institution of mexico does not exist other than as an intellectual belief and therefore has no claim on chiapas, those lands being the traditional territory of indigenous mayan peoples who never sold or ceded it to anyone. they (and i) choose to develop relations directly with the land without going through an institution that claims to ‘own the land’ and which self-declares its own right to impose laws and to tax all of those who reside within some imaginary line boundaries that designate ‘the limits of the institutional realm’.

you further say;

“But wait a minute Emile! Humans can have intent and do influence their future, how can you deny that? I can agree with my lover to have sex later tonight! Yay! Pleasure awaits!

there is only the continuing now (the present) in a world that is given only once, as a transforming relational activity continuum, so that what happens always happens in the present. that’s the only place we can experience having sex. the future is a language-and-grammar based intellectual idealization that you can dream about but it does not physically exist. as for ‘intention’, it is analytical backfill that comes from subject-verb-predicate constructs;

“That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the only effective force–in will, in intention–it is belief that every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’ 484

the remainder of your comments are simply your restatement of your beliefs in ‘intention’ and in subject-verb-predicate constructs which you hold up against my comments as if your repeated statements of conventional belief are ‘the truth’; i.e; you say;

Finally if you assert that a) institutions aren’t real and therefore can’t be dismantled through social struggle and b) that humans inherently, by definition, are never agents of destruction or construction or even a mix of both, then what/who on earth has been invading and destroying and conquering and colonizing human settlements and groups for millennia? And what/who has been resisting that imperialism (of the market or authority or bullyism or whatever)? It’s either institutions or people with intent.
.
The story of humans isn’t one of passive objects being pushed hither and thither by the purely chaotic relational activity energies of an ever transforming continuum that adheres to principles of modern physics and Taoism. It is the story of individuals banding together for subsistence and roaming free until bullies (antecedents to centralized authority) formed organizations (antecedents to institutions) that invaded other people’s habitats. It is the story of humans banding together in groups to create and or destroy, as agents capable of doing so. And that is the story that we need to continue writing.”

the issue is, in case you haven't been listening or paying attention to the views of nietzsche, schroedinger, whorf and others, that our habit is to construct an ‘operative reality’ using ‘errors of grammar’ such as the subject-verb-predicate construct where we portray humans as ‘beings’ with internal process driven and directed behaviours that reside, operate and interact in a habitat that is notionally independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it.

this is the description of humans that is implicit in the comments you keep repeating as if they were obviously truthful representations of human social dynamics.

the ‘other view’ whether or not you choose to consider it, is that ‘everything is interdependently influencing everything’ so that representation in terms of ‘independent beings’ and how they band together and do stuff is NOT REALISTIC and that what is realistic is to understand the world dynamic in terms of a relational continuum, in which case we cannot assume that humans [or institutions] are independent reason-driven systems that are fully and solely responsible for the results of their own behaviour.

therefore, it is not possible to apply moral judgement of their behaviour [as if they are fully and solely responsible for the results of their behaivour] nor to assume that all those who are not guilty are innocent, including the judges and juries and others in the social collective, who are, meanwhile, primary contributors to the conditions which spawn child soldiers etc. and/or colonized peoples who are like wound-springs ready to discharge the tensions that have grown from the oppression of colonizers.

in the standard Western view of moral judgement based justice that is implicit in your comments, the colonizers will hold the colonized fully and solely responsible for any violent actions that may manifest through them [but which originate from the selective oppression imposed by the self-same innocent and self-righteous judges and juries that meanwhile hold that everyone, including themselves must be considered innocent until proven guilty]. in other words, the model of man as an independent reason-and-intention-driven system that resides, operates and interacts in a habitat that is independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it ... that is implicit in your comments on social organization, is a radical mismatch to the physical reality of our natural experience.

Sir Einzige
This is the crux of it(believing crazies)

"

it is problematic, generally, to believe in the existence of institutions formed by written or spoken declarations of intent, and to make that the core of one’s social organizing scheme. those people who never believed in the existence of the institution in the first place will not be able to attribute harmful results to the institution and its directors/functionaries, but they will be able to attribute harmful results to the crazies that believe in the existence of the institutions; i.e. the European colonizers of the Americas who bring with them this practice of putting reason and morality into an unnatural precedence over experience-based intuition and natural instinct.

"

This gets to the point right here. I like to use the example of Arnold Wesker and Mr Scarface from Batman. What Wesker believes is obviously rubbish, but you don't ignore the fact that he has a gun connected to that puppet. Belief enforcers of the authoritarian reality are no different then Wesker. Aboriginal/indigenous humans essentially maneuver around this belief. This is how they operate when working with groups like Survivor International to use as conduits to deal with the civilized world. When the law shows up at a native reservation, the natives hide the cigs and other things, play the game, wait for them to leave and go back to normal. This is standard practice for acivilized, apolitical, autonomous, anarchic people.

Anarchic people born in civilization trying to get out should take notes and not take part in binary games that recuperate civilized institutional rule.

*Arnold not Albert*(Getting my Batman and Resident Evil characters mixed up)

emile
i like your ventriloquist analogy

the whole problem, if one considers the views of schroedinger, nietzsche, bohm etc. is that the stuff through which the world dynamic manifests or 'speaks', is not what is 'doing the talking'. the 'Ur-ground' is the relational dynamic and it is the source, however, a relational source is non-local, non-visible and non-material as in 'field' or 'flow'. science and reason, for 'economy of thought [Mach], orients instead to that which is local, visible and material and sets us up for a game of 'shoot the messenger'.

so, to take your analogy a bit further, we could say that the white supremacists who shepherd Western civilization are unwitting straight men for 'blond' jokes; eg.

the ventriloquist used his dummy to tell blond jokes and one day, in the audience is a very pissed off amazonian blonde who interrupts his blond joke, and says; "I'm sick and tired of hearing blondes being made fun of, ... don't you understand that we blondes have feelings like everyone else? ... she continues with the aggressive dressing-down and the ventriloquist is quite taken aback, and starts to apologize, at which point she interrupts him and says; 'Shut up mister, I'm talking to that little bastard sitting on your lap'.

the wizard of oz also had a nice one where the booming voice of the wizard, the voice of the institution of Oz, was coming from a totally non-scary guy using a PA system behind a curtain.

so i agree, the institutions are those 'little bastards sitting on the lap' of the Western civilization believer collective.

that kindly little old lady over there, playing with her grandchildren, ... that's her voice going tok tok tok ... pchew pchew when protests heat up and 'institutions' such as 'public security' kick in, and its not just her false teeth rattling.

Anonymous
That Viking guy just rehashed

That Viking guy just rehashed an old concept of linguistics called "connotation", you fool. Unless you were trolling the trolls, you're just giving weight to po-mo reformulators who the standing proofs of how Western intellectual culture is nothing but a zombie since at least the sixties.

Squee
Except it's not just

Except it's not just linguistics. It is based on issues that come up in studying physical information (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_information). It also isn't a PoMo type of author, but something more like a pop-science author.

Connotation is dealing with a system of meanings, contrasted with denotation. It's similar, but to say that it is being "rehashed" is a stretch. The notion of exformation would have more in common with studies in non-verbal communication than it would with linguistics.

Anonymous
What I thought... This is an

What I thought... This is an instance of academic transgression between two disciplines, of a mathematician with apparent zero knowledge of linguistics attempting to explain or reformulate a well-known phenomena of language (where MEANING is involved) by the means of mathematics. The information contained within the connotated meaning of an event in a horse race is not physical, even though it refers to a physical configuration.

Only sensorial stimuli is physical information. But then again how can you prove how truly physical that is?

The spectrography of distant planets will be interpreted -through language- as physical information, yet in reality it is all sensorial and conceptual, where there is no direct stimuli of how this planet's surface really is from a human perspective.

emile
yes, we are all coming from different foundational assumptions

this problem of differing foundational assumptions is not likely to go away soon.

i am partial to Mach's "a thing is a thought-symbol for a compound sensation of relative fixedness" which explains how we can fragment transforming relational dynamics such as the flow of the atmosphere into named storm-cells, and speak of the people of Verona as if Verona is a fixed thing that continues on even as all its inhabitants and structures collapse and are replaced multiple times. a 'thing' is commonly seen as a kind of flywheel effect in the intellectualizing, objectifying mind, ... it is the invisible persona of the black knight in monty python's Holy Grail that persists after arthur has chopped off all his body parts except for his cheeky tongue.

our alternative is, of course, to see a thing as a nexus of relational influences. that would do nicely for the storm-cell in the flow as it would preserve the 'one-with-all' physical reality, but Western humans are not likely to let go of the theological flywheel sense of ego-self as independently-existing, internal process-driven and directed systems that reside, operate and interact in a habitat that is independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it.

the point is that forum discussions typically proceed on the basis of rhetorical/dialectical competitions without ever bothering to put on the table the diversity of individual assumptions as to 'what is real'. some people believe in the existence of an objective reality 'out there' separate from the observing mind and others see the world as given only once, through sensory experience,seeing all the rest as dreamworks [abstract intellectual idealization].

still, it is good to see people willing to share their assumptions as this is not deemed relevant in the rapid-fire dialogue in the comments sections following written articles; i.e. it gives one more appreciation of just how much a tower of babel such discussions really are. we only think we are speaking 'the same language'.

Anonymous
I don't understand can you

I don't understand can you further elaborate on how can idealization can be anything else than both abstract and intellectual?

No, after all, nevermind. Just eat shit.

emile
ok, thanks, that is helpful in defining a ‘difference’

the orientation of Nørretranders (The User Illusion) unlike mine and/or Schrödingers, is to a ‘personal consciousness’. for Schroedinger and for the ‘flow’ view in general, individual consciousness is only a manifestation of a unitary consciousness pervading the universe.

In ‘Meine Weltansicht’, Schroedinger writes;

“This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.”

tat tvam asi refers to the ‘Mundaka Upanishad mantra’ which expresses a form of ‘all-in-ONE’;
ब्रह्मैवेदममृतं पुरस्तात् ब्रह्म पश्चात् ब्रह्म उत्तरतो दक्षिणतश्चोत्तरेण । अधश्चोर्ध्वं च प्रसृतं ब्रह्मैवेदं विश्वमिदं वरिष्ठम् ॥ 2.2.11 ॥ ]

The point being made is that there is a difference between the material body and the living entity and the difference is that the material body [Atman] is the local, visible, tangible form stirred up within the transforming relational activity continuum [Brahman]. Western materialism mistakes the material inhabitants for ‘all there is’ and fills in the space between them with notional ‘void’ [an intellectually idealized concept which is not found in the physical reality of our actual, natural experience; i.e. the emptiness of absolute space where it is not inhabited by material being, both of these two being intellectual idealizations that are foundational to ‘dualism’].

Schrödinger, in speaking of a universe in which particles are represented by wave functions, said;

“The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. This is entirely consistent with the Vedanta concept of All in One.”

Schroedinger’s “All in One” is very different from Nørretranders.

First of all, ‘information’ is an intellectual idealization. ‘information’ does not come ‘before consciousness’ as ‘material quantity’ does not come before consciousness [except in the ‘materialist’ view which is intellectual idealization based on relational form in the flow]. e.g.

“Leon Brillouin started solving the paradox when he discovered that information is a material quantity: information comes from a physical measurement. Wojcieh Zurek finished solving the paradox in 1990 by linking entropy, algorithmic complexity and Turing's machine.”

this is ‘information theory’ based investigation which depends on the initial assumption that the “raw material” of the world is “information”. this is intellectual idealization that is not supported in the physical reality of our natural experience. furthermore, it is intellectual idealization that turns living forms into ‘information processors’. this defines consciousness as the personal consciousness of an ‘information processor’ that feeds on the “raw material” of the world; i.e. “information” and retains only a processed version of it in a purported “personal consciousness” and drops out the rest;

“The discarded information, nonetheless, has an influence on our behavior. There is a nonconscious aspect of man that we are not familiar with because we cannot "feel" it.”

furthermore, Nørretranders reduces our ‘experience’ to an ‘information processor’s experience’;

“before we experience it, the content of consciousness has been processed and transformed from its original format.” ... “We can only experience the finished product, never the raw material.” ... “Consciousness is mostly about what happens inside us, not what happens outside.”

In the Schroedingerian view, ‘experience’ is far more than an information processing experience, it is our direct intuition of being situationally included in a transforming relational activity continuum. As with Nietzsche’s views, and Emerson’s, we are the transforming relational activity continuum and ‘information’, ‘material quantity’ and ‘information processing’ do not come into it, except as intellectually idealized machinery supported by language-and-grammar; i.e. ‘pragmatic idealizations’ or ‘tools’ that are not to be confused for ‘reality’;

““We … should beware lest the intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought, be regarded as the basis of the real world.” – Ernst Mach

the information processor view of man is a dualist view which splits man-the-observer apart from a world of material quantities (material existences).
“To locate our place in the universe Norretranders analyzes the relationship between the "me" and Gaia, and resorts to Margulis' theory of evolution through endosymbiosis: each "me" is made of other "me's"”

this is the ‘whole-istic view’ wherein the many parts together constitute the ‘whole’, making the world into ONE living organism called Gaia [it is a mono-theist whole]. this is radically unlike the ‘hole-istic view’ where the many parts are ‘illusion’ or ‘Maya’ since there is only ‘the One’; i.e. ‘the flow’ or ‘the transforming relational activity continuum’.

i would defer to Allen Ginsberg’s view on this, as captured in an interview by David Jay Brown in a ‘Mavericks of the Mind’ interview series; http://www.mavericksofthemind.com/index.htm

“DJB: Do you see the earth as being like an organism?
.
Allen: No, no, no, absolutely not. None of that bullshit! No Gaia hypothesis. (laughter) No theism need sneak in here. No monotheistic hallucinations needed in this. Not another fascist central authority.
.
DJB: That’s interesting, that you see the Gaia hypothesis as monotheistic and fascist whereas other see it as liberating.
.
Allen: Well, you’ve got this one big thing. Who says it’s got to be one? Why does everything have to be one? I think there’s no such thing as one - only many eyes looking out in all directions. The center is everywhere, not in any one spot. Does it have to be one organism, in the sense of one brain, or one consciousness?
.
DJB: Well, it could be like you said earlier, about how reality is simultaneously real and a dream. Maybe the earth or the universe is many and one at the same time.
.
Allen: Well, yeah, but the tendency is to sentimentalize it into another godhead and to re-inaugurate the whole Judeo-Christian-Islamic mind-trap.”

in the non-dualist ‘holodynamical’ view of Mach, Nietzsche, Bohm, Schroedinger et al, there are no pluralities that are ‘real’; i.e. the energy-charged transforming relational activity continuum manifests to the human observer as a multiplicity of local, visible, material forms which, while relational forms in a flow-continu-unum, we intellectually assign individual identities to and concretize these with subject-verb-predicate logic.

in other words, there is no plurality of material ‘me’s’, and as Ginsberg points out, to explain the ‘unity’ of ‘many real material me’s’ as coming from ‘one consciousness’ is the essence of monotheism.

in the Schroedingerian view, which it seems as if Ginsberg is also coming from [see Ginsberg’s testimony at the Chicago Eight trial] , consciousness comes before material entities; i.e. the essence of the universe is ‘field’ and individual consciousness is only a manifestation of a unitary consciousness pervading the universe. the plurality of parts is the intellectual RE-presentation constructed by the observer, just as the observer would construct a plurality of thunder-storm cells separated by nothing-in-particular when the physical reality is the transforming relational flow-plenum (turbulent flow) which manifests as a plurality of local ‘pimples’ or ‘whorls’, which we intellectual impute ‘individual identity’ to.

so, where you say;

“I think what is powerful is going to come from the quality of the relationships we have with one another.”

the schroedingerian view, which i share, would augment that phraseology and the understanding behind it, to acknowledge that the plurality is an illusion and that we are already related [i.e. ‘mitakuye oyasin’] and don’t have to bother ourselves with ‘improving our relations with one another’, we simply have to dissolve our intellectual pre-occupation with ‘ego’ as in the notion of ‘independent selfhood’. as schroedinger puts it;

“Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves” “Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge.. It has nothing to do with individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion.” --Erwin Schroedinger, ‘What is life’

evidently, schroedinger’s view of what is powerful is; “Some blood transfusion from the East to the West” to save Western science from spiritual anemia.

Schroedinger explicitly affirmed his conviction that non-dualism as in Vedantic jnana yoga provided a true sense of reality (the unity of Brahman and Atman as with flow and flow-feature) so that there is no need to look outside ourselves for divinity, and the challenge is for us to understand our true relational nature and the relational nature of the world we are situationally included in, which comes with developing an ability to see through the veil of Maya where we intellectually idealize the world as a collection/plurality of material entities that we use thought and language to synthetically endow with identity.

ok, there are clearly multiple views of ‘what is real’ out there, and in this note, i have tried to contrast the non-dualism of Mach, Nietzsche, Schroedinger et al with the dualism of Nørretranders and those who see the universe as ‘information’ waiting to be processed by humans-seen-as-information-processors that serve as individual personal consciousnesses.

for those of us whose understanding is akin to Mach, Nietzsche, Schroedinger, Wittgenstein, Ginsberg; i.e. non-dualists who see independent individuals as ‘illusion’, ‘consciousness’ is not something that belongs to each material being because material being is a product of consciousness.

instead of focusing on the quality of relations between 'one' and 'other', we see ourselves are being relational forms within a transforming relational spatial commons, therefore we orient to the quality of relations between one, other and the common relational space we share inclusion in. i.e. we leave the change in the coke machine so that someone we may never know may draw nourishment from we who will never know them; i.e. the female ethos is to cultivate a nourishing space that one's children and friends etc can draw on in achieving their development and assertive accomplishings; i.e. there is no 'hitting' without 'fielding' and mothers and others cultivate a nourishing 'fielding' that can make us as 'hitters' look real good.

"The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants" -- Mach's principle

that is, in this view, it is not simply about 'people' and the quality of relational 'interactions', nor about the persistance of inter-human relationships.

in the non-dualist view, moral judgement based retributive justice makes no sense and the associated separation of ‘innocent’ and ‘guilty’ makes no sense since ‘an action’ (as something isolated in space and time) makes no sense, ... so what is powerful is the subsuming of all of the binaries such as the existential binary of ‘is’ or ‘is not’ [underpinning the notion of people interacting with people] which equates to dissolving the veil of Maya and acknowledging, as comes to those like Mach and Schroedinger in their modern physics inquiry, “The ego or its separation is an illusion.”.

i would add that this does not reduce the self to nothing, it augments the self from a ‘doer-of-deeds’ [mensch] to an ‘agent of transformation’ [uebermensch] whose individuality derives NOT from ‘independent being’ but from his unique situational inclusion within the transforming relational activity continuum; i.e. there may be room for Stirner in this alongside Nietzsche!?

Squee
That's definitely a different

That's definitely a different perspective. I'm not sure how Stirner would play into it. The way that I describe the difference between Stirner and Nietzsche is exactly this difference between Nietzsche's Will and Stirner's Ich. I'm pretty sure that for Stirner, the creative nothingness at the foundation of the Ich does not include a trans-personal Will or Consciousness. I could imagine Stirner saying something like "the Will or the Consciousness has an ego, why should I serve it?" Preserving the atomic ego. Nietzsche's Will seems to fit in fine with Schroedinger, Mach, etc.

I'm not sure if it's possible to avoid dualistic conclusions (we're being sloppy btw ...there's a plethora of dualisms) unless a trans-personal consciousness, Will, or something similar to that is at the heart of a philosophy. The basic logic problem is that whenever an exclusive property is defined for an entity, it creates a split. So entities may be a location of a transforming universe, but the contents of "entities" could not become isolated. They couldn't fold in and contain within any sort of special content (information, ideas, etc.).

Pluralism can do that, but at the expense of giving entities generative capacities (like the generation of mind, the generation of genes, etc.). Interesting problems.

Hal
It sort of comes down

It sort of comes down to awareness of times inescapable march into eternity and ignoring this fact, in the Zen way, or any other mystical approach, whether it be Jesus's 30 days, (I don't think the awareness can be obtained in a monastery), one removes oneself of the clutter of social order, theory, even literacy, and has only the sensual data of nature unspoilt, thus we approach an idea of how indigenous peoples viewed the reality, and how the spontaneity of life created a unique paradigm, whereby human values and identities molded with the environment, and materialist acquisition, property, and everyday existence was enmeshed within an organic living and breathing totality. This sort of social/natural integration is approaching extinction, Western society is clutching at straws to stay afloat, red-herring wars against nothing significant, the creation of mass paranoia, the rituals sustaining deceptive myths of identity structure and purpose, all add up to what Orwell described in 1984.

emile
re "... social/natural integration is approaching extinction"

you say;

This sort of social/natural integration is approaching extinction

the other way to understand what is going on is that the synthetic Western 'operative reality' based on intellectual idealization continues to 'take over' and dominate modern social discourse as given through politicians, government leaders, economists, etc. it is a progression of the influence of language in 'bewitching our understanding'.

the social/natural integration is alive and well because nature is alive and well. it is modern Western humans and their intellectually idealized worldview that is on a runaway course; i.e. the tool of subject-verb-predicative logic [scientific thinking] is running away away with the workman.

of course the colonizing people have conditioned the habitat so as to induce anger and terrorist retribution in colonized peoples. but subject-verb-predicate language ignores that and says that South Africa's ANC is a terrorist organization and that Mandela is a convicted terrorist that should be hanged (Thatcher, Reagan).

what's missing in this picture? 'the participation of space' as Einstein put it, is what's missing.

of course one group of people can 'condition the relational dynamics of habitat' to make life unbearable for another group, giving them curfews and forcing them to carry identity cards and exploiting their labours and their daughters' bodies. how does this happen?

"The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants" -- Mach's principle

but when the oppressed group revolts, its called a 'terrorist act' that originates from the evil intention of people who are jealous of the innate superiority/supremacy of the colonizers who pen them up and exploit and oppress them.

read my lips, "the black south african killed a white police man. subject-verb-predicate. in a court presided over by white colonizers, this is said to be 'the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth'".

science and forensic science works like this. it 'bewitches our understanding' by imputing non-participation to space and thus attributing change fully and solely to causal agents, as if space were a void, rather than the primary medium of a world dynamic where relations are all there is.

this Western worldview that makes 'subject-verb-predicate logic' the foundation of understanding, putting it into an unnatural precedence over the physical reality of our natural relational experience, ... continues to 'take over' and infuse its 'great stupidity' into the social-relational dynamic.

in physical reality, we can't extricate ourselves from the social/natural integration, but Western understanding doesn't ground itself in physical reality, it grounds itself in the intellectual idealizations of 'thought-and-language' which gives a foundational role to subject-verb-predicate constructs; i.e. it grounds understanding in intellectual idealization, an act of 'great stupidity' [Nietzsche].

since 9/11, this has been taken to the extreme. at that time, many warned that the world's colonizing powers were continuing to use their power to humiliate colonized arabs/muslims in the middle east just as they/we had used such power to humiliate indigenous peoples they colonized in the Americas, and that just as earthquakes arise from continually building tensions that eventually violently release (the spring actions that go with spring tensions a la Heraclitus), continually building relational social tensions are the source of eventual violent releases. and, no, Virginia, these violent releases do not simply jumpstart from the evil interiors of people jealous of 'their superiors', they originate from oppression perpetrated through the common relational living space in a manner that launders out responsibility.

the issue of "the quality of our relationships with each other" does not speak to the conditioning of the common relational space by colonizers which is experienced differently by different groups. of course those people who can afford to live above sea level in New Orleans don't have to worry about upkeep to maintain the integrity of the levees. they can allow the floodgates to open with impunity, and in their view, improve the gene-pool at the same time.

focusing on the quality of relations is the Christian-Islamic-Judaic ethic, it is based on the notion that God created individual people of various types, as independent beings with their own free will, not relational forms in a common transforming relational activity continuum;

“Space is not empty. It is full, a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves.” — David Bohm

"you can construct a perfectly valid theory by positing the existence of certain relations without additionally assuming individual things. ... we might as well dispense with things and assume that the world is made of [relational] structures, or nets of relations.” – Meinard Kuhlmann, ‘What is Real’, Scientific American, August 2013

but no, God popped men out as independent creatures into the void and He popped out man's habitat separately, so if we want to concern ourselves with human social relations, it concerns how men treat one another; i.e. the quality of human social interactions, ... and the habitat is not a participant in this. 'what men do to other men is what we need to go by, and God made up moral laws and principles on the basis of what men do to other men, and Western society retains this in its moral judgement based retributive justice system. in this worldview that serves as an 'operative reality', the habitat is a non-participant and we need concern ourselves only with the subject-verb-predicate actions of human causal agents. that's why we must not make excuses for the terrorist actions of colonized peoples, actions which can only jumpstart from the evil interiors of lesser people who are jealous of our inherent superiority.

it is NOT that " social/natural integration is approaching extinction", it is that it is alive and well and continues to be the 'physical reality' while the bewitchment of our understanding by the intellectual idealizations of noun-and-verb Indo-European/Scientific language-and-grammar continues on its runaway path, the tool of simplistic subject-verb-predicate language constructs [a great stupidity if believed in literally] 'running away with the workman' [Emerson]. the result of this language-based bewitchment of understanding is;

"Western society is clutching at straws to stay afloat, red-herring wars against nothing significant, the creation of mass paranoia, the rituals sustaining deceptive myths of identity structure and purpose, all add up to what Orwell described in 1984."

R.D. Laing spotted this mass societal insanity back in the 1960's and it has been getting progressively worse in spite of massive prescription drug taking.

“What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience.” – R. D. Laing

Hal
I see what you mean,

I see what you mean, social/natural is the permanent real space, intellectual idealization is an abstract ephemeral illusion, like the shadows in Socrates cave being taken as reality.
On a lighter note, when I was reading your comment, for a moment I thought you had written, God pooped men out, lol, anyway, it was good for a laugh, and actually could apply to the myth of Adam and Eve.

emile
the straight poop...

yes, in acknowledging this inversion, even as a curious possibility, you go farther than most people dare going;

"social/natural is the permanent real space, intellectual idealization is an abstract ephemeral illusion, like the shadows in Socrates cave being taken as reality."

my sense is that we Western people have been brought up for generation after generation after generation esteeming knowledge, education, reasoning and morality. we have been living with the growth of accessibility of literature, education and knowledge, along with scientific understanding and technology.

so, more and more, 'we know what we're doing' and 'we are doing things deliberately'. the growth of this self-consciousness is where the problem with Western civilization lies. [e.g. see On the Marionette Theatre, by Heinrich von Kleist]

people didn't always know what they were doing in pre-modern times. organization was outside-inwardly induced. the fertile valley beckoned and people 'rose to the occasion'. as Vygotsky observes, the natural make-up of concept formation beings with relational situations which excite and organize our individual and collective behaviour and in this process scientific concepts develop. this is characteristic of the habitat-induced inhabitants where people or creatures are 'stateless'. Lamarck' theory of living organization mirrors this arrangement where relational situations induce assertive action.

1. assertive action is NOT 'intentional action' when it is induced by relational situations wherein people 'rise to the occasion' to fulfill something that naturally beckons fulfillment, like the helping of a child in distress (or hunger). you may wander into the woods haphazardly, in search of something edible that you can give to the child (likewise with respect to shelter, clothing).

2. Western science and reason are based on 'knowledge' and 'intention' have steadily become the perceived 'jumpstart' source of assertive behaviour and organization, making such behaviour, ... in our minds, at least, ... fully intention based.

3. when our actions are driven and directed from our knowledge and reason, they seem to jumpstart from our 'intentions'. but let's say that a person with farming skills who knows how to grow a garden is moved from the northern plains to a tropical jungle. the garden and what he plants and cultivates in it will be very different. his knowledge of farming was of the 'mechanics' of farming. the relational situation was the 'real' orchestrator of his behaviour. he wouldn't make the mistake of trying to grow a garden on a sand dune or gravel plain.

4. subject-verb-predicate language constructs portray actions in terms of the intentional actions of the subject, even if the person's actions are relational situation-induced. e,g,'the man is gathering food for the children' could refer to a man who is in a new place who does not know what he is looking for because he is in an unfamiliar place, but he knows the children are hungry and he is looking for he doesn't know what (until he finds something that could be nourishing). on the other hand, he might have studied for 5 years in a university and have become an expert at knowing how to gather food in the region and have been hired to do this job even though he dislikes children.

* * *

the point is that 'natural relational situations may orchestrate our actions' and/or the very same actions may be knowledge and intention driven and directed [e.g. gathering food for hungry children].

noun-and-verb Indo-European/Scientific language-and-grammar gives a one-sided 'all-asserting, no-orchestrating' ['all-hitting, no-fielding'] portrait of dynamics, therefore we have the problem that we don't know how much the 'fielding' contributed to the 'hitting results'.

[this problem was raised by stephen jay gould in his critique of darwinian natural selection, in 'Full House' where he uses the baseball hitting-fielding metaphor; i.e. it is impossible to separate out exactly, the contribution of the hitter and the contribution of the fielding, to the 'hitting result']

so, ask might ask oneself if there is NOT a trend here in Western civilization wherein people's assertive dynamics are coming more and more from their knowledge and intention, and less and less orchestrated by the relational situations they find themselves in. in the limit where the person is 100% knowledge and intention driven [or so it seems in our thinking/reasoning], his actions are purely mechanical, and there is no 'rising-to-the-occasion behaviour inductively orchestrated/shaped by an unfolding relational situation one finds oneself included in'. [as in 'life is something that happens to us while we're busy making other plans' -- John Lennon].

next, ask yourselves 'what is the primary reality'. your actions seem to be moving towards more and more purely intentional and knowledge-directed, and less and less situationally orchestrated and informed, sort of like 'sex after marriage'.

the world around you [and/or partner with you] may still be mysterious and transforming and calling to you to discover its mysteries, but you are no longer listening, because you are concentrating on using the knowledge you have gained to support your intention/purpose and attain your objective. why bother treating the world as a mysteriously unfolding opening that can pull into blossom new assertive potentials in you when 'you've been there, done that' and can bypass giving yourself up to the unfolding moment and go straight for a knowledge-directed pre-emptive strike?

maybe you are shutting yourself out of the primary social/natural reality. maybe, the social/natural is the permanent real space, intellectual idealization is an abstract ephemeral illusion, a language based reduction to a one-sided 'all-hitting, no-fielding' depiction of 'your' dynamics.

"The knowledge of many things does not teach understanding" -- Heraclitus

* * *

p.s. rather than the pseudo 'operative reality' of intellectual idealization forming from the 'ephemeral', it forms from the sense of 'permanance'; e.g. as emerson says in 'The Method of Nature', nature is a continual flux but the forms in nature are like the persisting form of the cataract, giving the illusion of permanance [the persisting patterns in the flow are like the shadows on the wall of the cave. but in this case there is no ghostly 'local thing-in-itself' behind the form that is authoring the form, we are instead looking at form that is a dimple in the relational One-ness.

Hal
I totally understand your

I totally understand your argument, the knowledge-directed pre-emptive action has ignored the subtle relational flux and form which experience/senses make us aware of. Thus the assumption of predicting the score [the economics, population, value of the dollar, climate temperature extrapolations based on abstract formulae] in a hitter/fielding [nice analogy] scenario can never be accurate or real.

emile
Western civilization has encouraged the growth of reason

the 'operative reality' based on 'reason' and 'moral judgement' is something that Western civilization prides itself on developing and spreading. that is, Westerners see themselves as fighting a 'war against ignorance and superstition'. the problem is, as nietzsche points out, and others, the growth of reason and moral judgement are 'the problem'; i.e. they put us into an intellectually idealized 'operative reality' that is nothing like the physical reality of our natural experience. mistaking this 'operative reality' for 'reality' is the source of 'incoherence' (Bohm) [intellectual idealization has us constructing subject-verb-predicate operative realities that are in conflict with our natural experience. meanwhile, the 'bewitchment of Western understanding' by noun-and-verb language-and-grammar is continuing to have us opt for putting intellection into an unnatural primacy over experience].

“We … should beware lest the intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought, be regarded as the basis of the real world.” – Ernst Mach

the growth of literacy, scientific thinking (reason) and moral judging, as 'tools that have run away with the workman', have been eroding our capacity for natural situational experience based understanding. the very growth, advance and progress that Western civilization prides itself on is taking the global social dynamic down into deepening incoherence and nihilism.

of course, we are not obliged to continue to put reason, science and moral judgement into an unnatural primacy over the physical reality of our natural and unfathomably complex relational experience. re-grounding ourselves in the physical reality of our natural experience is what 'talking circles' and 'restorative justice' are all about, and they are 'catching on' as people experience how natural it feels to put them into precedence over 'reason' and 'moral judgement'.

Hal
Nice story about

Nice story about the marionette theatre. A hidden gem!

emile
yes, i think this boils down to the two views of infinity

the basic question is; does everything in the universe'exist' prior to our discovering it? ... or do we bring it into existence with our conscious observing of it (our 'becoming conscious of it')?

this has split philosophers but i think it's fair to say that Western culture infuses in us the view that everything in the universe exists prior to our discovery of it. i.e. all those things are sitting out there waiting for us to see, touch and measure them, like the billions of grains of sand on the beach.

the alternative view, which i would associate with Schroedinger's view is something like George Berkeley's

"Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived)" “All those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world have no subsistence without a mind.”

in this view, 'consciousness' in the Schroedingerian Weltansicht, like Nietzsche's 'will to power' is understood as immanent in the universe and is responsible for the world and ourselves.

"The world viewed from inside, the world defined and described by its "intelligible character"—it would be simply "will to power" and nothing else. —– Nietzsche, Will to Power, 36.

the mind (consciousness) is the lens through which we see the world. our view is limited by our limited 'viewing time', therefore there is no infinite expanse and detail available to our consciousness; i.e. the idea of the infinity of things in the universe that us mortals will never be able to fully explore is a kind of 'intellectually idealized extrapolation' from our actual experiencing/observing.

the mind that could handle being conscious of that infinity of structural detail would be more than 'mortal'; i.e.

“God is what Mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.” -- Freeman Dyson

the way i would see this is that in the relational worldview of Schroedinger et al, ‘relations are all there are’. purely relational dynamics as in ‘fluid dynamics’ are non-local, non-visible and non-material; i.e. they are purely relational and the flow-features that do manifest infer that there is a relational flow [the world given only once] that is primary.

how do we get from ‘the one’ to ‘the many’, taking into account that we are included in ‘the one’? is it not through (a) conscious observation, drawing on the power of consciousness immanent in ‘the one’? in this worldview, objects do not exist before they are conceived of by a conscious observer.

or, is it not through (b) as in Nørretranders worldview where the plurality of object ‘out there’; i.e. the world as a diverse collection of things-that-exist independent of any conscious observer. the universe in Nørretranders world view is an infinite set of things waiting to be discovered.

Henri Poincaré, in ‘Dernières Pensées’, Ch. V. Les Mathematiques et la Logique, discusses how people are split on this. here’s an excerpt, and he further points out that mathematicians agree to disagree because problems involving infinity can’t be resolved by experiments conducted by finite mortals. here’s a bit from the core of his discussion;

“I have endeavored to explain as clearly and as impartially as I could the nature of the divergences between the two schools of mathematicians. And it seems to me that we can already perceive the true cause. The scientists of the two schools have opposite mental tendencies. Those whom I have called pragmatists are idealists, and the Cantorians are realists.
.
There is one thing which will bear out this point of view. We see that the Cantorians (let me use this convenient term even though I do not wish to speak here of the mathematicians who follow in Cantor's steps, nor even perhaps of the philosophers who identify themselves with him, but of those who have the same tendencies in an independent fashion), that the Cantorians, as I was saying, speak constantly of epistemology; that is, the science of sciences. And it is well understood that this epistemology is completely independent of psychology; that is, that it must teach us what the sciences would be if there were no scientists ; that we must study the sciences, not of course with the supposition that there are no scientists, but at least without the supposition that there are. Thus not only is Nature a reality independent of the physicist who could be tempted to study it, but physics itself is also a reality which would exist even if there were no physicists. This is realism indeed.
.
And why do the pragmatists refuse to permit objects which could not be defined in a finite number of words ? It is because they believe that an object exists only when it is conceived by the mind and that an object could not be conceived by the mind independently of a being capable of thinking. There is indeed idealism in that. And since a rational subject is a man, or something which resembles man, and consequently is a finite being, infinity can have no other meaning than the possibility of creating as many finite objects as we wish.
.
And then we can make a somewhat peculiar remark. Realists ordinarily adopt the point of view of physics. They affirm the independent existence of material objects or of individual souls, or what they call substances. For them, the world existed before the creation of man, even before the creation of living beings ; it would still exist even if there were no God nor any rational being. That is the point of view of common sense, and it is only through reflection that we can be led to abandon it. The partisans of physical realism are generally finitists. As to the question of Kantian antinomies, they go along with the theses; they believe that the world is finite. This is, for example, the point of view of Mr. Evellin. On the other hand, the idealists do not have the same scruples and are quite ready to subscribe to the antitheses.
.
But the Cantorians are realists even where mathematical entities are concerned. These entities seem to them to have an independent existence; the geometer does not create them, he discovers them. These objects therefore exist so to speak without existing, since they can be reduced to pure essences. But since, by nature, these objects are infinite in number, the partisans of mathematical realism are much more infinitist than the idealists. Infinity to them is no longer a becoming since it exists before the mind which discovers it. Whether they admit or deny it, they must therefore believe in actual infinity.
.
... At all times, there have been opposite tendencies in philosophy and it does not seem that these tendencies are on the verge of being reconciled. It is no doubt because there are different souls and that we cannot change anything in these souls. There is therefore no hope of seeing harmony established between the pragmatists and the Cantorians. Men do not agree because they do not speak the same language, and there are languages which cannot be learned.

so, we may be on different sides of ‘this division’ and thus interpreting the same physical phenomena through different lenses (realist lenses and pragmatist-idealist lenses). of course, you may not like this way of dividing things, but it seems to me that it is very basic; i.e. the split between understanding the world as an infinite collection of things waiting to be discovered versus the world in terms of a flow or transforming relational activity continuum which is broken down into notional ‘things’ through conscious observation or ‘measurement’ [in quantum physics, a quantum system can remain in a superposition of opposite states until observation ‘collapses the wave function’ and one of the two possible states becomes evident. this has general implications in the macro-world and Schroedinger formulated his famous ‘Shroedinger’s cat’ thought experiment to illustrate the absurdity of the popular probability theory interpretation of quantum mechanics].

these same ‘dual option’ views crop up in our everyday perspectives, as pointed out by Howard Zinn in ‘A People’s History of the United States’; i.e. the colonizers see themselves as constructing a wonderful new world in North America while the colonized indigenous peoples see these same activities as destroying a wonderful established world on Turtle Island. If we chop down a bunch of trees and use them as benches for people to sit on at a political rally, how much do we have to do to them to depict this as the construction of bleachers and move away from the stigma of destruction of forest? How about if we strip some bark from the top of the logs and shave off spots the width of human buttocks? Let’s face it, it is impossible to construct a house in the forest without destroying some forest. We would do better to ground our understanding in the condition of the habitat and refer to these changes as relational transformation of the habitat since ‘transformation’ is the ‘coincidentia oppositorum’ of creation and destruction, hitting and fielding.

so, if we understand the world we live in as a transforming relational activity continuum, there are no ‘things’, other than relational features that we use thought and language to construe as ‘things’, so there is no infinity of things out there waiting for us to discover them, there is only our conscious observing which interprets transient relational forms as ‘things’ by using language to give them ‘subject’ status; e.g. destroying some forest by chopping down some trees delivers a patch of destroyed forest, but we may refer to this activity as ‘constructing a row of benches’. we can refine the created products all we want but the three options are always there (a) destroying what is already ‘in place’, (b) constructing something new ‘in that place’ and (c) transforming the relational space aka ‘habitat’ which sees (a) and (b) as conjugate aspects of the one relational dynamics of transformation. interpreting the action as either of the binary opposites (a) or (b) depends on the subjective values imposed by the observer [e.g. as in the example of colonizer and colonized].

“Space is not empty. It is full, a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves.” — David Bohm

ok, i live in the Western culture and, like Mach, Nietzsche, Schroedinger et al, my understanding is ‘Eastern’ as is the understanding of indigenous anarchists. i opt for the relations-are-all-there is view because that’s what resonates with my experience. Western society puts reason and moral judgement into an unnatural precedence over the physical reality of natural experience. Western society is ‘realist’ and i am ‘pragmatist idealist’; i.e. i do not accept that ‘things are real’, but instead view ‘things’ as useful interpretations of transient relational forms that are continually gathering and being regathered in the transforming relational activity continuum.

nothing solved here because there are no ‘correct answers’ that stand on their own, out of the context of the physical reality of our actual experience [e.g. of being included in a mass of people whose individual and collective behaviours are shaped by their belief that they live in a world of things that exist with or without their conscious observation.]

now, when we look at satellite imagery on google earth, should we count up those rectangular structures as ‘houses’ or as ‘wounds in the forest’? is schroedinger’s cat dead or alive or both?

in schroedinger’s view, wave dynamics constitute a transforming relational activity continuum while “What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances).” – Erwin Schroedinger

there is therefore, in this kind of view, no infinity of things that exist out there in the world, waiting for us to discover them, since 'things' are artefacts of our intellectual idealizing; i.e. they are part of the "intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought" that must not be mistaken for "the basis of the real world"

it may be that you are seeing Nørretrandersian realist tomayto in the same place that i am seeing Shroedingerian pragmatist-idealist tomahto.

Anonymous
But of course Cantor was

But of course Cantor was correct.
In particular, there are infinitely large sets of arbitrary size.
And if we aren't (ante rem) realists about math then it becomes very difficult to explain why any of it works ('idealist' accounts disguise rather than eschew realism).

Anonymous
You could say there's an

You could say there's an infinite amount of algorithms, but don't algorithms only are when they are algorithmed.

How many algorithms there were a million years ago?

Anonymous
Clearly I'm positing

Clearly I'm positing mathematical objects as platonic (eternal, acausal, abstract, unalterable). There are some difficulties with this but I think it's worse the other way. Then what are these things we immediately encounter as soon as we started counting (measuring, collecting, etc). Otherwise what are they? What is math 'about'?

Intuitionist: the subject matter of mathematics is human mental activity, ie what we think about when we think about math is just the (necessary) structure of our own thought. So why does this structure exist the same for everyone? Why do your idea and my idea of the number 3 (or Cantor's aleph) have all the same properties, whether or not you or I have thought about them all?

Formalist: math is a game of symbol manipulation. So why does the game work? How to explain the consistency, usefulness, etc. of the results? Wittgenstein's paradox about rules might be mentioned here to show there is something already unclear in the 'game' notion. A similar problem...

emile
what do 'games that work' have to do with reality?

what do people with mathematics have that people without mathematics do not have, as regards the understanding of the physical reality of our natural experience?

or, in other words, what do people with languages have that people without language do not have?

evidently, language enables us to share our experience, or rather to share a very limited version of our experience.

f. david peat comments on how our intuition of mathematics changes from infancy to adulthood, and how mathematics is a 'language game' that constrains our understanding "Mathematics and the Language of Nature"

"In arguing that mathematical languages direct and influence our thought in science, we now see that the real danger arises from always focusing on the physical ideas and not giving attention to the language in which they are expressed! As long as physicists view mathematics simply as a tool then it is possible to ignore the subtle but very powerful influence it has over the way they think and how they express their thoughts. In fact, I believe that a good argument can be made that a particular form of mathematics has been blocking progress in physics for decades- this is the Cartesian co-ordinate system, a mathematical form that has survived several scientific revolutions!" -- F. David Peat

Cartesian coordinate systems embody the concept of absolute space. this concept comes from subject-verb-predicate language;

"“It is sometimes stated that Newtonian space, time, and matter are sensed by everyone intuitively, whereupon relativity is cited as showing how mathematical analysis can prove intuition wrong. This, besides being unfair to intuition, is an attempt to answer offhand question (1) put at the outset of this paper, to answer which this research was undertaken. Presentation of the findings now nears its end, and I think the answer is clear. The offhand answer, laying the blame upon intuition for our slowness in discovering mysteries of the Cosmos, such as relativity, is the wrong one. The right answer is: Newtonian space, time, and matter are no intuitions. They are receipts from culture and language. That is where Newton got them.” – Benjamin Whorf, ‘The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language’

mathematics is a language that derives from a language, but it is up to the user to try to encode our complex experience within it to play language-games. insofar as we do an incomplete job of that, we had better beware that we don't start using language to correct the physical reality of our natural experience. as mach observes;

"“We … should beware lest the intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought, be regarded as the basis of the real world.” – Ernst Mach

Anonymous
This reminded me of emile:

This reminded me of emile:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:balls_to_the_wall

"Another potential etymology is derived from the sexual practice called a 'glory hole', found in both homosexual and heterosexual practice, and featured in military subcultures among others. In a 'glory hole', a receptive partner who wishes to remain anonymous presents their vagina, mouth, or anus to the penetrating partner by pressing it against a wall in which a hole has been cut out. The penetrating partner can thus be 'balls' (testicles) to the wall, yielding the same inferential results - fully committed, as far forward/fast/thoroughly as possible."

It's like something he'd say. Same style, you know?

emile
Sir Einzige’s Wesker-Scarface Modeling Suggestion

The ‘ventriloquist’ with the dangerous lap-dog mouthpiece/puppet (pull the right string and he’ll shoot to kill) is capable of explaining the degeneration of Western civilization by bringing into it the findings of modern physics in the psycho-physical investigative terms suggested by Mach.

Right off the bat, it shows how representative democracy/capitalism is a Machiavellian operation that facilitates maximal self-interest driven exploitation through limited-liability government and corporate functionaries, lapdogs that are not only the launchpads for anonymous sources hiding behind them, but targets for the backlash from their provocative utterances and actions that are, in reality, coming from deeper, anonymous sources.

The relational structure of the Scarface-Wesker model also applies to Western civilization’s capitalist democracy; i.e. instead of the social dynamic deriving from ‘direct action’, damaged and insecure people act instead by speaking and acting through lapdog functionaries;

“A meek, quiet man named Arnold Wesker (the first Ventriloquist) plans and executes his crimes through a dummy named Scarface the Puppet, with the dress and persona of a 1920s gangster (complete with pinstripe suit, cigar, and Tommy gun). His name comes from the nickname of Al Capone, after whom Scarface is modeled. Born into a powerful mafia family, Wesker develops dissociative identity disorder after seeing his mother assassinated by thugs from a rival family. Growing up, his only outlet is ventriloquism.”

Why does this dysfunctional model continue to be globally dominant?

Or, what is the nature of the craziness that infects modern populations such that they/we continue to operate in this manner.

The answer can be most easily seen, in the confusion surrounding the disparities and contradictions between mainstream science and the relational findings of modern physics.

Ernst Mach put his finger right on it in his critical review of the development of ‘the science of mechanics’; i.e. he noted that while science and biology had both opted for a purely mechanical model in terms of ‘what independently-existing things do as if residing, operating and interacting within a space that is independent of the things that reside, operate and interact within it [intellectually idealization that is not supported by experience], we know from experience that things in motion simultaneous alter ‘fields’ (gravity, electromagnetism) and changing fields simultaneously alter the motion of things. in other words, ‘induction’ and ‘mechanical action’ are reciprocal complements of a single dynamic. We see this in the stator-rotor interplay of a generator; i.e. there is the seamless interplay of inductive influence and mechanical action. This also shows up in social dynamics but Western society does not acknowledge it because Western society applies reason and moral judgement to its observations of dynamics. Here’s an example,

A woman repetitively ‘sells sexual favours’ to men who give her a meal and send her on her way. Since ‘science’ interprets dynamics in a purely mechanical manner; i.e. in terms of what independently-existing things [animated by internal components and processes] do, and holds them to be fully and solely responsible for their own actions, this woman is judged to be a ‘worker’ [i.e. a sex-trade worker]. This is the standard ‘all-hitting, no-fielding’ view of Western scientific thinking aka ‘reason’. Moral judgement can only be applied to her action since ‘she did it on her own accord’.

Our ‘intuition’ [which is to reason, as induction is the mechanical action] says, ‘wait a minute’, if all of the men contrived to co-control access to nurturance-earning work and give it disproportionately to men so that there were a lot of women and their children threatened with starving, then ‘the need to obtain food and drink’ would be an inductive influence orchestrating and shaping the behaviours of those women.

induction and mechanical action are simultaneous reciprocal complements of one another. as Mach pointed out, the only reason why science modeled motion in purely mechanical terms was that it was more convenient and simple in the sense of delivering an ‘economy of thought’.

so, let’s look at this mismatch. there is nothing said or acknowledged about the fact that relational dynamics can generate an inductive lensing that outside-inwardly orchestrates and shapes the inside-outward asserting behaviour of individuals. In fact, Western science models the human and all ‘organisms’ as ‘independent reason-driven systems’ that reside, operate and interact in a habitat that is independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it. The exclusively internal process generated behaviour of the individual is explained in terms of in-situ biochemical and bio-neurophysical processes. As Mach pointed out, it does not make sense to use purely mechanical science to explain physiology since it is through our sensory experience that we understand the world, so why would we think that we could use a simplified mechanical reasoning process, and turn it back on itself, so-to-speak, and believe that it is going to give us an understanding of our process of understanding?

THE RELATIONS OF MECHANICS TO PHYSIOLOGY: The principles of mechanics: not the foundation but simply an aspect of the world.
.
4. All physical knowledge can only mentally represent and anticipate compounds of those elements we call sensations. It is concerned with the connection of these elements. Such an element, say the heat of a body A, is connected, not only with other elements, say with such whose aggregate makes up the flame B, but also with the aggregate of certain elements of our body, say with the aggregate of the elements of a nerve, N. As simple object and element N is not essentially, but only conventionally, different from A and B, The connection of A and B is a problem of physics, that of A and N a problem of physiology. Neither is alone existent; both exist at once. Only provisionally can we neglect either. Processes, thus, that in appearance are purely mechanical, are, in addition to their evident mechanical features, always physiological, and, consequently, also electrical, chemical, and so forth. The science of mechanics does not comprise the foundations, no, nor even a part of the world, but only an aspect of it.” – Ernst Mach, ‘The Science of Mechanics: A Critical and Historical Account of its Development’

Mach is talking about an ‘over-sight’ on the part of biology in using science based on mechanics as the tool to understand physiology and thus the sensory aspects of our experiencing which cannot be explained in one-sided all-hitting, no-fielding mechanics terms.

Let’s go back to our intuition of dual-phased circularity in the case of the ‘sex trade worker’. In pure mechanical terms, the action is fully and solely ‘on her initiative’ and ‘by her intention’ to fuck the guys and get money for it. They do not force her to do this in a ‘mechanical’ sense of the term ‘force’, and that is all we look at in our reason and morality based interpretations of social dynamics.

But intuition screams out to us that a male-dominated social relational matrix can contrive to ‘close all portals of access’ to some fraction of the female population, EXCEPT the portal of giving sexual favours in exchange for access to vital resources. The dynamic now looks like a dual-phase induction/mechanical-action dynamic.

Meanwhile, Western moral judgement assumes that actions are purely mechanical [the one-sided all-hitting, no-fielding explanation of ‘hitting results’] and the Western religious models of man and organisms are that the are created as independent entities just as the habitat is created as an entity that is independent of the inhabitants that populate it. So is it not only Western science but also Western religious traditions [Christianity, Judaism, Islam] that ‘model’ the human as an ‘independent being’ with internal components and processes driven behaviour, who is fully and solely responsible for his own behaviour. In this view, there is no ‘circularity’ of the social dynamic wherein induction and mechanical action are reciprocal aspects of the one dynamic. Instead, there is the implication that a person’s behaviour must be driven and directed by ‘intention’ or ‘purpose’. This is not justified by our experience [we continually experience feelings eliciting us to rise to the occasion by outside-inward INDUCTIVE orchestrating influences, such as to find food for our children; i.e. it was not our ‘intention’ to make children and to feed children, “life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans”].

Intention is just our ‘ego speaking’.

i.e. OF COURSE if we start our modeling off by plunking down a human and calling it an independent being [ignoring its inherent figure-in-ground inextricability akin to convection-cell-in-relational flow-space] then we are going to have to explain the behaviour and ability to ‘cause things to happen’ of the thing we plunked down and made out to be an ‘independent being’ by loading it up with the logically necessary internal components and processes to get our line of reasoning out of the corner we painted ourselves into, ... hence we need to come up with the deus-ex-machina known as ‘intention’.

“That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the only effective force–in will, in intention–it is belief that every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’ 484

the whole notion of ‘work’ and ‘worker’ rests dependently on the notion that the impetus for mechanical action is inside-outwardly driven by something called ‘intention’ or ‘will’. Absolute space aka ‘vacuum’ has no way of outside-inwardly orchestrating [inducing] and shaping inside-outward asserting behaviour. Of course, modern physics says that space is not empty;

“Space is not [empty] Euclidian” … “Space is a participant in physical phenomena” … “Space not only conditions the behaviour of inert masses, but is also conditioned in its state by them.”, … “the recognition of the fact that ‘empty space’ in its physical relation is neither homogeneous nor isotropic, compelling us to describe its state by ten functions (the gravitation potentials g(μ,ν), has, I think finally disposed of the view that space is physically empty” . . . “A thrown stone is, from this point of view, a changing field, where the states of greatest field intensity travel through space with the velocity of the stone” —Albert Einstein

Ask yourselves why we [globally dominating Western society] are stuck with a model of human behaviour in which we are constrained to explain behaviour fully and solely in an inside-outward asserting [all-hitting-no-fielding] mechanical action depiction.

Then refer back to Mach’s comment on the error in using mechanical science as the FOUNDATION for physiological processes under the heading “The principles of mechanics: not the foundation but simply an aspect of the world.”

Do we have to find within ourselves the ‘intention’ and ‘purpose’ to explain all of our behaviours? Darwin makes it seem as if everything is by intention, even sex, which we purportedly do in order to reproduce, or so Darwinism says, or perhaps because we are ordered to have sex by the ventriloquist directives coming from our genes. That is, maybe if the truth be known, ‘the hen is simply an egg’s way of making another egg’, as Spencer captured the ‘survival of the fittest’ principle implicit in Darwinism.

All of this ridiculous stuff results from imposing the constraint of ‘empty’ absolute space, forcing all of the sourcing of action to come from the things residing, operating and interacting in that non-participating space; i.e. forcing us to imagine that all organismic behaviour derives from intention and/or ‘unconscious purpose’.

Give us a break, who put the ‘intention’ into the organism in Darwinism? Who put the ‘cunt’ into ‘Scunthorpe’, as the saying goes [seek and ye shall find the components and processes you choose to find]. Only the imposing intellect trying to make sense of its own incomplete, over-simplified models which insist on denying Mach’s principle of the simultaneous reciprocally complementary influence of space-and-matter, inhabitant-and-habitat.

* * *

The Wesker-Scarface model can be found in Darwinism. Nietzsche describes the ‘self’ with the dissociative identity disorder as ‘ego’, and ego claims for itself the power of ‘intention’ that it holds to be the full and sole source of its own behaviour [obviating any thought of habitat-based outside-inward orchestrating influence as inducing and shaping inside-outward asserting behaviour].

We even talk about ‘the sun rising and setting’ and ‘the earth rotating’ as if these entities are the egotist authors of their own behaviours so that everything they do is driven by their own ‘intention’;

“It is no different in this case than with the movement of the sun: there our eye is the constant advocate of error, here it is our language. In its origin language belongs in the age of the most rudimentary form of psychology. We enter a realm of crude fetishism when we summon before consciousness the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language, in plain talk, the presuppositions of reason. Everywhere it sees a doer and doing; it believes in will as the cause; it believes in the ego, in the ego as being, in the ego as substance, and it projects this faith in the ego-substance upon all things — only thereby does it first create the concept of “thing.” Everywhere “being” is projected by thought, pushed underneath, as the cause; the concept of being follows, and is a derivative of, the concept of ego. In the beginning there is that great calamity of an error that the will is something which is effective, that will is a faculty. Today we know that it is only a word.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

* * *

The point here is that Western society has been putting reason and moral judgement into an unnatural primacy over intuition and restoration (of balance and harmony), the former associating with a world of independent objects/organisms alienated [dissociated] from the relational space they are innately included in, and the latter acknowledging situational inclusion in a relational dynamic involving spring-tensions [induction] in reciprocal complement with spring actions [mechanical action]. This is in spite of modern physics affirming the reciprocal complementarity of induction and mechanical action [wave-particle duality] as implicit in the above cited comments of Albert Einstein].

The Wesker-Scarface model fits what is going on here. The dissociative identity disorder first gives rise to the dominance of the ‘ego’ [I am the full and sole author of my own behaviour and I act out of my own intention and purpose]. This amounts to a denial that the energy-charged transforming relational space is the mother of relational forms such as the human organism and organisms and material systems in general. Once this denial is in place, there is no room for acknowledging outside-inward orchestrating and shaping of behaviour so that even the ‘child’ soldier is technically [by reason and moral judgement] held to be fully and solely responsible for his murderous behaviour, even though he is ‘the little bastard sitting on the lap’ of ventriloquist subcultures [suffering from alienation/dissociation] who are ‘speaking through him’, and equipping him with a ‘tommy gun’.

science, which gives us an alienated sense of self as an independent entity, one amongst a vast plurality of independent entities insulated from one another by inclusion in an absolute space and absolute time containing frame, if taken literally and believed in, is the source of dissociative identity disorder. And moral judgement is the cohort of scientific reasoning since it would make no sense to hold the individual fully and solely responsible for his own action, without assuming his independent ‘being’ and his notional residing, operating and interacting in a habitat that is notionally independent of the inhabitants such as himself, that reside, operate and interact within it. This is craziness, but it the ‘operative reality’ of globally dominating Western society.

the indigenous anarchist worldview accords with the relational view of modern physics. In this view, the individual is ‘not alone’ but inextricably bound into a relational One-ness as expressed by ‘mitakuye oyasin’, ‘we are all related’;

“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach

Tell me about an investor in our democratic capitalist society for whom the operational activities of the limited liability company he invests in are less important than the profits he may gain from investing them, ... and I’ll tell you about the nature of ‘dissociative identity disorder’ and the Wesker-Scarface model of Western society.

Tell me about a citizen in a Western democracy for whom the operational activities of his unaccountable to anyone government that he votes in are less important than the security and protection he may gain from putting them in power, ... and I’ll tell you about the nature of ‘dissociative identity disorder’ and the Wesker-Scarface model of Western society.

the banishment of inductive influence [deus absconditus] which reduces the understanding of our inclusional experience to narrative models of mechanical operations and interactions of independent entities as if in empty space, leads directly to dissociative identity disorder, also know as the hijacking of the helm of self by ‘ego’. this dissociative disorder is termed ‘nationalism’ in collectives believing themselves to be ‘sovereign states’ and making ‘declarations of independence’, pledges of allegiance, anthem-singing etc. as testimony to such belief. In corporations, this dissociative identity disorder is cultivated by assigning a title and ‘position’ to the individual that frees him from having to use his sensory experiencing [as outside-inward orchestrator and shaper of behaviour] as he engages with the ‘outside world’ [implied by the ‘independent existence’ of the corporation] and has him become a tool of ‘those above him’ i.e. has him plug into directives from above which take on primacy in driving and directing his behaviour, which may include applying the same drive and direction to others with lesser titles and positions ‘below’ him, which will similarly pre-empt their sensory experiencing and its outside-inward behaviour orchestrating and shaping influence;

“The capacity for self-surrender, he said, for becoming a tool, for the most unconditional and utter self-abnegation, was but the reverse side of that other power to will and to command. Commanding and obeying formed together one single principle, one indissoluble unity; he who knew how to obey knew also how to command, and conversely; the one idea was comprehended in the other, as people and leader were comprehended in one another.” – Thomas Mann, ‘Mario and the Magician’ (on the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s)

in other words, capitalism is a dissociative identity disorder that invites people to join them in scarface roles [aka ‘worker’ roles] in a limited liability assault on ‘the outside world [the limiting of liability is backed up by government regulatory and enforcement agencies/institutions and their functionaries]. The modeled of ‘independent existence’ of the corporation [officially decreed in legal terms on registered documents] and the concept of win/lose competition as something ‘natural’ borrows from Darwinism and its portray of organisms as independently-existing systems with intention-driven behaviours [and the usual central seats of intelligence and authority which house purpose, intention, intellectual information processing etc. to notionally provide the authorship of inside-outwards drive and direction].

Western capitalist democracy is a thinly veiled Wesker-Scarface operation

* * *

Wesker-Scarface Community Variants

As T.S. Eliot point out, ‘community’ can range from a place where people put up houses side by side to ‘something more’

"When the Stranger says: 'What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?
What will you answer? 'We all dwell together
To make money from each other? or 'This is a community'?
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . T. S. Eliot, Choruses from 'The Rock'

The ‘land’ that the community is situated on could be ‘company land’ close to the site of the rape-hole (mining or tar-sands oil producing operation) that the people are being ‘brought in for’ and the houses may be lines of trailers or quonset huts that can be brought in or pulled out at low cost depending on changing requirements.

In indigenous anarchist communities, the community evolution beings with the inductive influence of land, an outside-inward orchestrating influence that opens up unfleshed-out possibilities that inductively shape individual and collective behaviour, and gives rise to a circular dynamic to community evolution. Like the sink-source reciprocally complementary influence that sustains a convection cell and gives it persisting form and ‘identity’ within an overall relational One-ness, community that begins with a habitat-inhabitant relationship induces its own transformation as new participants are drawn in and complexify relations opening up new relational niche opens for other who are drawn in by [to fill] the relational niches. This naturally evolving community does not suffer from dissociative identity disorder, but those who live in a community defined by occupying side-by-side houses within which reside people who ‘make a living’ by working for many different non-resident corporations are prone to such DID since they are like solitary plugs that are sold temporary sockets called ‘jobs’ to plug into.

The only form of community spirit that can come from community defined by people living in company-owned houses that are side-by-side on a prepared gravel plain with close proximity to the open rape-hole wound in the earth will be ‘anthropocentric’. This is the manifestation of the Wesker-Scarface community wherein the ‘worker’ is the puppet of dissociated identity disorder embodied in the intellectuall-declared-to-be ‘independent’ corporation that speaks and acts through the brutally insensitive-to-the-habitat actions of corporate puppets.
Evidently, there are many possible variants of ‘community’ that range from this extreme where Wesker [the community or corporate persona] can think of his own self-interest and nothing more and invest in this through his Scarface interface, ... towards a more sensitive Wesker who may develop an attachment with the world he interfaces with through his Scarface interface, resolving his dissociative identity disorder that manifest through his Apollonian reason-driven behaviour, with what Nietzsche calls Dionysian ecstasy; “wo wir gleichsam mit der unermesslichen Urlust am Dasein eins geworden sind” (“when we have become, at the same time, one with the infinite primordial joy in existence”).

Communities do have a particular ‘spirit’ and ‘persona’ and however much happiness and partygoing the community in the side-by-side trailers on the company lot beside the open corporate rape-hole they are working exhibit, it cannot be the same as the ‘spirit’ and ‘persona’ of the community that is in long evolved ancestral bonding with the land, ... land that is now rich with the dust of ancestors who held it sacred and passionately administered to it, respecting it as the mother of those currently included in circular relation with it.

In this circularity, the mean-spirited Wesker, his interface with the outside world, Scarface, and the outside world, become one [Atman = Brahman] and the dissociative identity disorder is subsumed.

In Nietzsche’s terms, this comes about in the Dionysian ‘amor fati’ or ‘love of one’s whatever happens to one while one is busy making other plans’;
"The fatality of man cannot be detached from the fatality of all that was and will be . . . one is necessary, a piece of fatum; one belongs to the whole. . . "

It would appear that ‘re-wilding’, rather than being an attempt to escape from technological advances and re-insert oneself into more primitive and simple conditions, is instead a desire for this bringing to nexus of self, interface and other; i.e. to accept that “the life we are reaching out to grasp is the we who are reaching out to grasp it’, “wo wir gleichsam mit der unermesslichen Urlust am Dasein eins geworden sind”, and in the process leave behind this dissociative identity disorder which Western society is regarding as ‘normality’;

“What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience.” – R.D. Laing

* * *

thank you sir einzige for your penetrating insight into psycho-physical relations.

Le Way
Agreed, though I think Machiavelli,

Agreed, though I think Machiavelli, as a moral nihilist, could also be a critic of democracy/capitalism. In that his praxis accepted the existence of social physical and ethical conditions as unavoidable irresistible evolutionary transitional states, knowing that it is false and corrupt, and having the knowledge of its machinations, he could not help but be drawn into a 'master puppeteer' position and use one ruler against another. Its well known that opportunism and Machiavellianism sped up the decline of the Tudor monarchist rule, by revealing its duplicity, whereas Shakespeare glorified it. Politics pretends to hold high moral ground to maintain power and the vote, why not be a leveller, a moral nihilist?

Sir Einzige
Stirner and Machiavelli

Maxime Leroy makes an interesting case about Stirner individualizing Machiavelli to the extreme to undermine authority.

"

Perhaps you recall some of the strong thoughts of that skillful man of State:

“The prince, obliged to act as a beast, will strive to be at once a fox and a lion: for, if he is only a lion, he will not see the snares; if he is only a fox, he will not defend himself against wolves; and he has an equal need to be a fox in order to see the snares, and a lion in order to terrify the wolves. Those who stick to being just lions are very clumsy.”

“A wise prince ought not to fulfill his promise when that accomplishment would be against his interests...: such is the precept to give.”

“You can see that those who knew best how to act the fox are those who have prospered most.”

“Let the prince think then only of preserving his life and his State: if he succeeds, all the means that he has taken will be judged honorable and praised by everyone.” [13]

Stirner wants to extend the morality that Florentine secretary advocated for the sovereigns alone, to every individual in society: it is not Montesquieu, it is Machiavelli who seems to him to have “regained the titles of the human spirit.”

Thus, the ideophage counsels his “unique” to follow the maxims of the Prince in order to become skillful at giving and keeping, at being crafty, deceiving, lying, succeeding.

I evade the laws of a people, he says without artifice, until I can gather my strength to overturn them.

He says further: Turn yourself to good account.

Guizot said in the same era: Improve yourself!

There is all the wisdom of industrial competition. The work of egoism accomplished, Stirner raises, like the royal herald at Saint-Denis, the cry of deliverance and salvation: “The people is dead! Bonjour moi!

"

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/maxime-leroy-stirner-versus-proud...

Le Way
That's an interesting intersection

That's an interesting essay on the intersections of crypto-revolutionaries posing as diplomats [well that's my opinion of what and who Machiavelli in spirit was, way before his time] within the hegemony of orthodoxies, the Borgia regime and its totally religious and military dominance and corrupt exploitation of its serfs.
At least a few centuries later, when the then New-Order colonialist political spy vs spy was inaugurated and named 'The Grand-Game', during the first British-Afghan war around 1830, which the British lost, and the proto-capitalist East India Company licked its wounds of 20,000 casualties in 1 week of fighting the Afghans { history is repeated over and over again like the walls of Jericho, but I digress] there was always Stirner who theoretically destroyed the whole artifice of Western politics and religion, their conquest mentality, their sheepish surrender to authority, their ignorance of their own sovereign and unique creative qualities.
Yeah, Machiavelli was way ahead of all the Borgia religionists of his era, that's for sure.

emile
there is a lot of emphasis on the ends justifying the means

"“Let the prince think then only of preserving his life and his State: if he succeeds, all the means that he has taken will be judged honorable and praised by everyone.”

this is still going on. what is the nature of the deviousness that is implicit here?

i will say that the deviousness derives from reducing 'hitting-fielding' to 'all-hitting, no-fielding'.

there is this principle called 'gambler's ruin' and it says that those who have the least means to buffer them through a downturn become desperate and desperation means vulnerability to exploitation and this is the tide upon which princes rise to power, and their cronies;

prince hal, acknowledges that a civil war, at the right time, can be a game-changer; i.e. those that have sufficient buffer have a great opportunity to exploit those who do not (desperate people can propel the non-desperate to power)

"Falstaff. ... Worcester is stolen away tonight; thy father’s beard is turned white with the news: you may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.
.
Prince. Why then, it is like, if there come a hot June and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds." -- Shakespeare, Henry IV

is it not apparent in the economic turbulence of August, 2015, as always, that those with a buffer will have the desperate pounding on their doors, offering the maidenheads of their daughters, if not the captive labours of their first-born sons, in exchange for a dry crust of bread?

market stability and social stability are for the stupid who believe what the authorities promise, but which the authority-class has no interest in delivering, what person of influence with an ample buffer does not look forward to the downturns, when princes and their financiers can exploit the desperate masses, building on their misfortunes and riding the tides of their own good fortunes to amass resources for pittance and ratchet themselves up on the power pecking order.

this is not so much a story about the cleverness of political princes as of the stupidity of the herd and how to cultivate and exploit it.

as soon as one utters the word 'prince', one is putting oneself in the Western land of authoritarian structures, and if one finds that the utterance of the word brings forth cheers, then one knows one is in a collective with herd-mentality.

who would cheer a leader, a prince, who will become one's master, other than one who has already been infected with herd mentality?

if stirner's ego was of the same sort as machiavelli's prince, then stirner was not in the same camp as nietzsche who strived to expose the origins of herd mentality so that the masses might liberate themselves from this 'great stupidity' of voluntary and enthusiastic self-enslavement.

Sir Einzige
With all do respect emile

It's Fred that's actually closer to the Authoritarian side of Aristocratic values then Max. Let's not forget that the latter also says this.

"

But only look at that Sultan who cares so lovingly for his people. Is he not pure unselfishness itself, and does he not hourly sacrifice himself for his people? Oh, yes, for “his people.” Just try it; show yourself not as his, but as your own; for breaking away from his egoism you will take a trip to jail. The Sultan has set his cause on nothing but himself; he is to himself all in all, he is to himself the only one, and tolerates nobody who would dare not to be one of “his people.”

"

Nietzsche(who I like for different reasons) never gets to that level of anarchic break off, and his critique of the herd is fairly exclusive compared to a Stirner or a Novatore who are more Libertarian Aristocrats then traditional. I've read Fred's rough body of work once through(Birth to Homo) and at no point does he show interest in generalizing Aristocracy to anarchic levels. Stirner, very much so.

Also, the Leroy piece is an interpretation.

emile
nietzsche isn't caught in the netherworld-between self and other

self-and-other are both imposters in nietzsche's view. nietzsche mocks the belief in 'being' which is the source of the self-other split.

show me where stirner does.

from the sultan passage, it appears as if stirner starts with a belief in 'being' and then can't decide whether the self-other split should be interpreted in favour of 'other' or 'self' and ultimately, in the case of a powerful self-other combination [which exists only in the mind of the believer in being] decides in favour of 'self' and to hell with 'other'.

neitzsche mocks the belief in 'being' and thus mocks the schizophrenia where the believer in 'being' is shuttled in the leader-follower dualism as a ball bearing in the bumper of a pinball machine.

“It is no different in this case than with the movement of the sun: there our eye is the constant advocate of error, here it is our language. In its origin language belongs in the age of the most rudimentary form of psychology. We enter a realm of crude fetishism when we summon before consciousness the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language, in plain talk, the presuppositions of reason. Everywhere it sees a doer and doing; it believes in will as the cause; it believes in the ego, in the ego as being, in the ego as substance, and it projects this faith in the ego-substance upon all things — only thereby does it first create the concept of “thing.” Everywhere “being” is projected by thought, pushed underneath, as the cause; the concept of being follows, and is a derivative of, the concept of ego. In the beginning there is that great calamity of an error that the will is something which is effective, that will is a faculty. Today we know that it is only a word.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

“Indeed, nothing has yet possessed a more naive power of persuasion than the error concerning being, as it has been formulated by the Eleatics, for example. After all, every word and every sentence we say speak in its favor. Even the opponents of the Eleatics still succumbed to the seduction of their concept of being: Democritus, among others, when he invented his atom. “Reason” in language — oh, what an old deceptive witch she is! I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

only if one believes in being (the intellectual idealization born of noun-and-verb language or born of ego and precipitated in subject-verb-predicate constructs) does one get caught in the schizophrenic dilemma of whether a leader exists to serve his followers or the followers exist to serve the leader.

where does stirner declare his non-belief in 'being'?

or does he go with the schizophrenia that the leader-follower split brings and ultimately decides the chicken-and-egg dilemma in absolute favour of the chicken. this is the 'intelligent designer in the sky' solution of Creationists where the 'leader' decides he has created a following.

Sir Einzige
All 'things' are nothing to me

I think the famous opening and closing line of Der Einzige makes it pretty hard to sustain a belief in BEING emile. Belief is pretty hard when you affirm the creative nothing against fixed ideas.

Stirner is being provisional with his use of the term ego(partially a mistranslation)to make a greater point against authority and fixed ideas. He makes the point that he is only using counter prop language because he has to within the confines of language:

"The egoist, before whom the humane shudder, is a spook as much as the devil is: he exists only as a bogie and phantasm in their brain. If they were not unsophisticatedly drifting back and forth in the antediluvian opposition of good and evil, to which they have given the modern names of 'human' and 'egoistic,' they would not have freshened up the hoary 'sinner' into an 'egoist' either, and put a new patch on an old garment." ~ Stirner, "The Ego and Its Own"

What Nietzsche brings is further clarity via a reading of Eastern and pre Socratic texts. I've made the point before however that neither are perfect and both have their flaws in regards to epistemic framework and orientation.

emile
didn`t see this comment earlier

i haven't read enough stirner to feel as if 'i know him', ... just trying to understand your position where you reference it to stirner.

the confusing aspect of nietzsche is probably there with stirner as well; i.e. if one reads nietzsche as if his 'uebermensch' and 'will to power' applies to what the subject wants to do with what is 'out there' (transform the objective world), he will get it wrong. for nietzsche everything is in flux including the subject who is continually 'learning' and undergoing self-transformation.

As Nietzsche’s translator Walter Kaufmann noted, Nietzsche agreed with the ancient tradition, cited by Lao Tzu, that the man who conquers himself shows greater power than he who conquers others. This is the man who opens up to his place in the world as an ‘agent of transformation’ and lets go of the ‘lesser strain’ of self as ‘doer-of-deeds’. Emerson, a mentor of Nietzsche, makes the same point using somewhat different terminology;

His health and greatness consist in his being the channel through which heaven flows to earth, in short, in the fulness in which an ecstatical state takes place in him. It is pitiful to be an artist, when, by forbearing to be artists, we might be vessels filled with the divine overflowings, enriched by the circulations of omniscience and omnipresence. Are there not moments in the history of heaven when the human race was not counted by individuals, but was only the Influenced, was God in distribution, God rushing into multiform benefit? It is sublime to receive, sublime to love, but this lust of imparting as from _us_, this desire to be loved, the wish to be recognized as individuals, — is finite, comes of a lower strain.” -- Emerson, 'The Method of Nature'

Nietzsche's words about power, in the common usage which presumes subject-objective world splitting, makes him appear racist and nationalist, which is clearly not the case.

"“No, we do not love humanity; but on the other hand we are not nearly "German" enough, in the sense in which the word "German" is constantly being used nowadays, to advocate nationalism and race hatred and to be able to take pleasure in the national scabies of the heart and blood poisoning that now leads the nations of Europe to delimit and barricade themselves against each other as if it were a matter of quarantine. For that we are too open-minded, too malicious, too spoiled, also too well-informed, too "traveled": we far prefer to live on mountains, apart, "untimely," in past or future centuries, merely in order to keep ourselves from experiencing the silent rage to which we know we should be condemned as eyewitnesses of politics that are desolating the German spirit by making it vain and that is, moreover, petty politics:—to keep its own creation from immediately falling apart again, is it not finding it necessary to plant it between two deadly hatreds? must it not desire the eternalization of the European system of a lot of petty states? ... We who are homeless are too manifold and mixed racially and in our descent, being "modern men," and consequently do not feel tempted to participate in the mendacious racial self-admiration and racial indecency that parades in Germany today as a sign of a German way of thinking and that is doubly false and obscene among the people of the "historical sense." We are, in one word—and let this be our word of honor!— good Europeans, the heirs of Europe, the rich, oversupplied, but also overly obligated heirs of thousands of years of European spirit: as such, we have also outgrown Christianity and are averse to it, and precisely because we have grown out of it, because our ancestors were Christians who in their Christianity were uncompromisingly upright; for their faith they willingly sacrificed possessions and position, blood and fatherland. We—do the same. For what? For our unbelief? For every kind of unbelief? No, you know better than that, my friends! The hidden Yes in you is stronger than all Nos and Maybes that afflict you and your age like a disease; and when you have to embark on the sea, you emigrants, you, too, are compelled to this by— a faith! ...” ---Nietzsche, ‘The Gay Science’, 377"

so, it being clear that Nietzsche's views do not incorporate the subject-object splitting that is the Western default, my question is; ... does stirner make the usual Western subject-object split or not?

Pages

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
CAPTCHA
Human?
k
W
W
f
b
K
V
Enter the code without spaces.
Subscribe to Comments for "General Philosophy Discussion"
society