- Capitalism and Alternatives -

About Positivity.

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on June 22, 1999 at 12:51:28:

In Reply to: about hemming posted by Gee on June 21, 1999 at 14:25:50:

: It is not whether or not there are constraints to what you can do, Shannon may answer by restating the non aggression principle. It is about who is doing the hemming, why, and whether punitive action is reserved for those unwilling to be 'hemmed in'.

Right, time for a logic bomb:

1:Humans exist within a social structure/network. We can take this as a given, inellucable irreducible fact. Lets call it Being, or Social Being, or perhaps Totality. Whatever, all human societies by definition exist as a single Totality.
2:Given that this is so, all human systems must account for said Totality, as a basic premise, even if unstated.
3:A Being (Totality) is, be and of itself, meaningless, it presents no relation, and just is. to know it fully we must know it internally, i.e. by its divisions and contradictions.
4:The Liberal Totality, therefore, can be shown thusly: a presumtion of the absolute isolation of the individual, and a de facto recognition of self-hood in *opposition* to the moral/political Law. Effectively, we divide the totality into the abstracted individual (one that does not recognise its part in the Totality), and since it cannot, itself actually being a part of the Totality, use the totality of Being as its dialectical negation, it creates opposite it, within Being, an abstracted collectivity- the State. So individualism implies a form of political state.
5:We can see this once more in Pain- the political state (btw- 'state' refers to political structures from here-on in, 'State' refers to ideological/moral structures) exists as a check, a restrictive force to the absolute freedom of the individual. It is, in Hegel's terms, a positive state (not as in opposition to negative, but as in a adjectivalisation of the Verb 'To Posit'), i.e. it posits law as an external alien force, so felt by the individual, within which the indiviodual does not recognise themself. The state does not act to enable the individual, the individual cannot act through the state, only ever against it.
6:So, to return to Hegel, we find, in 'the Philosophy of Right' that he says that such negative freedom, or whim, results in the Positive state, that the two complement each other, that to be an atomised individual, you need an authoritarian state to reconcile that individual with its facticiy of social Being.
7:This is so even in Gee's Anarcho-Capitalist Utopias, wherein he transposes the bourgeois mode of Law (letigiousness, etc.) with its modes of positivity and privatised rights, in the form of free market courts, etc. I effect, Gee's anarchism, silently, contains an understanding of social Being, and seeks to sublimate it with courts and bourgeois law. Instead of the authoritarian state being made up of humans, for Gee it is the inhuman machinic market.

: Because there are social connections there is not an automatic righteousness (nor inevitability) about being hemmed in

No-one mentions hemmed in, however, Hegel again, we are free when we recognise ourselves in the State Law, otherwise we feel ourselves unfree under positive state law.

: The libertarian position - that social connections be voluntary and individuated - would seem far more appropriate to humankind than any kind of dictatorship.

Except libertarianism posits a mad god dictator in the form of the market.

:The idea of stateless socialism seems pleasant too -

I esent the distinction, its just Socialism, inherent to its definition is the end of the state.

: if one assumes that just about everybody on the entire planet agrees with it, and agrees to its effects on their personal lives. Both are unlikely, the first because so many people appear to gladly swap liberty for leadership, the second even more so because such agreement does not occur.

Of coruse, I could turn round and punch holes in current society- what if people stop agreeing (as they voluntarilly do) to accept Dolalrs? What if people decide that religion is better than lending money and usury? Current society is predicated on all sorts of unspoken agreements, that allow it to reconcile itself with social Being.

Another article, slightly related, by myself on the capitalist state can be found in:

The Socialist Standard

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