Truth is fundamentally a judgement. A judgement on relations, an event, an idea, etc. So, Truth presupposes a judging being. There exists no Truth in the world as if it is an object waiting to be discovered. It has no "objective" existence because a judgement existing outside of a judger is absurd. A judgement is based on a way of understanding, or in other words, a knowledge-base, a set of principles, a rationale. In Thomas Kuhn's 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, he claims that the determination of scientific facts needs a paradigm (a way of understanding), which enables the interpreting of data in order to find what is relevant from what is not - allowing facts to be established. Without the paradigm there is no way to order information; everything is relevant; interpretation has no aim; there's no way to judge. Likewise, Truth requires a paradigm in order to be declared as so. Using a generic example, there are two paradigms: Religious and Scientific. (Think of Classic Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics for something more interesting). The religious paradigm contains a world-view (another way to think of paradigm). It is set by specific beliefs and practices and values. Accordingly, it has a way of determining what is true from what is not. Science also contains a world-view. It determines its own version of truth based on its specific criteria. Which one of these paradigms is true? This requires a paradigm which not only has to contain the two mentioned but also another that transcends them. And is this paradigm true? This requires another paradigm. And is this paradigm true? This requires another paradigm... This does not mean there is no Truth, or that it is relative. The language we use to make these concepts (subjective/objective, relative/absolute) and the inherent logic of the concepts does not capture the full resolution needed to accurately talk about Truth. Any many other things. Truth has utility - not only for making sense of a complex world but also for guiding us. Ultimately the pragmatic approach is the only viable option when facing infinity.
Experience is the greatest teacher;
Yes, but you need to be humble enough to
understand the lesson.
In the throes…
Sealed in a passage Bearing hallowed name; The highest blood Privileges one to attain The shine of a mechanism And its demand of respect; Blessed by secret passions For the cursed elect; Hopeful for the quick grace Of sharp victory, While the chambers are without their monarch Who capsized fortune In the sea of history. Play now with absolved steps, small spirit; Your unbound labour shapes character, Offering breath to fiction's eager ghost; And to those bloated with misfortune, Therefore drowning in dark cravings: The narrators provide stories of past honour To stay afloat through courage Only afforded by mystery; Indeed, none better can so swim In what orators give to war and misery. The new masters replaced the garden's tree; With captured fruit Curiosity grew another In aimless ancestry; The new breed also sprouts and ripens In this strange but blighted Arcadia, Where they will be called monsters According to laws Ready for them to rebel, And where is the sleeping God? It has been excised as well. Thus the church bells ring in hollowed tones; Barren, hungry - Gorging on responsibility, They choke as if they've swallowed bones. The crushing strength held Onto such delicate conviction- It is Truth that bears This most hidden vice, And this they dearly harbour Beyond shallow paradise, And even farther From haunted Golgotha; Hence, the new resolute will: Building an endless bridge, Conquering distance en route nihil. If you had the knowledge, small spirit, Would you continue? For your motivation will interpret the future earth, But it will be far From the origin within you.
The very constraints that limit, designate, prohibit are the very forces that engender freedom through their restriction. Without the limits established there could be no passing them.
Freedom is achieved in the excess from a restraint; the forces that limit freedom are the very ones that freedom is born in.
Individuality is created by restraint; the individual realizing themselves is only available through them being pressured from external forces squeezing them into actualization.
The hidden Hegel within Nietzsche
The master-slave dialectic for Hegel is the driving force of history, its annulment is the end of history. The equalization of master-slave for Nietzsche brings with it a dissolving of their contradicting values (morality).
Is Nietzsche merely continuing the Hegelian necessity?
I think what Nietzsche foresaw that Hegel didn’t is that through destroying the dichotomies of master-slave; a transitionary period of nihilism would be initiated which leads into absolute spirit after its completion. Nihilism would create the fertile grounds for a revaluation of values, where the highest values devalue themselves and it is through this negation that new values can emerge. These values are part of an absolute morality (free from the contradictory values of master/slave) that is a constituent part of absolute spirit. I think Hegel was too preoccupied with the historical aspect of his system and Nietzsche picked it up on moral grounds where he expounded the moral implications of master/slave fading away.
This would be a Nietzschean objection: absolute morality is free from master/slave values but through creating new values it still perpetuates a moral system that is objective and not free for the individual; the difference of this morality compared with the old one is that it expels the dialectical opposition but still places objective moral principles that confine subjects in its morality.
I think that we have to accept, as social beings, the fundamental essence of morality is slavish; it unifies people and acts as an authority of value-positing for a ‘power’. It is a power structure you cannot rid a social group of because the social body is always comprised of power relations (a will to power); you can’t escape this element or else you go into moral-relativism which leads-again-into nihilism. The subjective morality Nietzsche advocates is a tumultuous transition of a process that gradually solidifies an objective morality. We can’t be morally subjective tenably; ‘will to power’ will always designate an object morality through a process of contradictions being resolved through time (subjective morality engenders the fecundity for antagonisms that reach a dialectical completion into a ‘universal’ morality). This newly completed morality will (possibly) never degrade into nihilism because it is not tensionally conflicting itself in a dialectic. I think Nietzsche’s greatest alluding task was creating the principles for which we could articulate and implement the process (unbeknownst to him) that fruitions this objective morality.
Nietzsche was a child of his times; a product of the historical milieu that manifested his individuality. He was a being in a specific point in history that found within his profound thought a kernel of an historical becoming. The thought he was trying to get away from (Hegelian Dialectics) was actually the very reality he was situated in. The events and philosophy that preceded him allowed him to elucidate what Hegel couldn’t: the coming of nihilism and the moralistic consequences that accompanied the end of the master/slave dialectic. Hegel had made the mistake of placing absolute spirit at the end of history; he could not foresee the moralistic implications and the turmoil that ‘the end’ would cause to ‘spirit’ from becoming absolute; spirit will have to go through an anguish of nihility, where it detaches itself from what constrained it, and then reconfigures itself in a process that will bring about its absolute completion. The thought of Nietzsche was able to continue Hegelian thought in a route that was not historically available for Hegel: this is why both thinkers should not be taken in conflicting terms; the alliance of their thought can be critically and genealogically used to unveil the hidden mechanisms of our society and reality.
Note: The Nietzschean “overman” is a bridge towards the Hegelian “absolute spirit”
Fascism, Castration and Nietzsche
Fascism is a defensive ideology, its power is within fear: the fear of castration.
In Freudian psychoanalysis castration anxiety is a fear of emasculation and of losing the penis which is the very symbolizer of masculinity. In this case the penis symbolizes the ideological structures that compromise superiority, race, domination and heritage which are all structures that support fascism and are all rooted in the violent hyper-masculinity of fascist ideology.
Fascism finds its potency with a perceived threat; an outside force that wishes to destroy it. The threat propels the passions of hatred and ignites prejudice. The attack is towards a way of life and an established identity. The foreign intruder is perceived as wishing to destroy the establishment and dethrone (castrate) the ones who are in power. At all costs the fascists way of life must be preserved because it includes the very means of power that gives that life meaning and purpose. Fascism finds its meaning and purpose in dominance. The subjugation of all life for one ruling group is the sadistic purpose of all fascist ideology, and fascists will fight for this “right to power” because without it they are castrated and left with humiliation and loss.
There exists a position within some misinterpretations of Nietzschean thought that states fascism is a master morality, this is completely false, fascism is probably the highest form of slave morality that can exist. Fascism in appearance seems to be an affirmation but affirmation is not its source, the source is in fear. In religion, there exists a life-threatening fear of God, this fear stops man from what can affirm his life and enables him to thwart the life within him to achieve eternity in the afterlife. Fascism works similarly by replacing the threat of God with the threat of the outside world. Christianity seeks paradise in the afterlife, fascism seeks paradise within life in the form of a dominant utopian ethno-state. The way to reach this paradise is through violence and control which are part of weak and life-limiting forces.
The Nietzschean ‘will to power’ is a becoming of power in the form of a will. The becoming is between two forces, reactive (negating) and active (affirmative), the one that rules over the other has the highest will to power. The qualities of weak and strong does not determine the strong (active) force prevailing over the weaker (reactive) one, what matters for the success of the forces is the power of the will.
The difference between active and reactive forces can be elucidated with the ‘eternal return’: if you will something, will it as if it would return in life eternally. Active forces always make a successful return because they bring with them life-affirmation while reactive ones die because they eventually destroy themselves.
Fascism is a reactive force because it cuts life off from what it can do (active forces affirm life to its full potential). The fascists are not just dominating everyone else, their ideology is also dominating them. In this way fascism becomes sadomasochistic, the members extend control towards others and their values extend control towards themselves. The worship of ideological principles constrain members to a mould that they can’t escape from. They are in a cycle of domination and submission. The bondage of fascism limits the life-potential of its members by subjugating them to ideals and convictions that negate life-affirming wills for a will that is contrived through the power of fear.
Fascism is wholly a negation, its power is in destruction, it has no positivity which life-affirmative creation can come from because it is a philosophy of death that creates perpetual tension and violence. Fascism replaces the slave morality of Christianity for a new one that is not (entirely) based on the worship of a God but the worship of land, race and history that completely dominate an individuals life and fixates it on abstractions that manifest ideological slavery. The property of Fascism then becomes the violent residue of the worst aspects of a slave morality and the worst aspects of mankind as a whole.
Norman Bates and his Mother
Psycho is a fascinating film that explores the inner-workings of a mental illness pertaining to a man whose sense of self is dominated by a mother figure. His mother had died long ago but the ‘ghost’ of her remained within Norman. He compensated for this death by going into episodes where he would take on her role. The role was a defensive mechanism towards what Norman felt as a threat towards himself through the perspective of an over-protective simulacrum of his mother.
At the end of Psycho 2, we find the truth. Normans real mother appears and we learn his dead mother was actually the real ones sister. Norman, showing no sign of distress and operating with an erie calm, strikes his real mother in the head with a shovel after she reveals the truth. Why would Norman kill his actual mother when, for what it seemed, he so desperately needed a mother figure in his life? This end scene provides a startling revelation.
For Norman, it was never about the reality of the mother, it was always about the fantasy. The mother signified the highest authority figure, who would look after and give orders to an insecure and scared little boy. The outside world was taught to be impure and dangerous by the mother figure, this led Norman to live a reclusive life that depended on the mother for safety. After her death, through the years, living alone in the house his mother once occupied, Norman created the perfect mother figure, the perfect bringer of peace and order in a world of chaos and evil. This imaginary mother figure engendered by the death of his former mother was the culmination of all that Norman desired in a paternal figure. The appearance of a living mother that would replace this imaginary matriarch is a stoppage of the fantasy.
Fantasy dissolves when coming face to face with reality, it no longer works because fantasy finds life within a realm of death (a void) where the virtuality of imagination is free to set itself up whatever it can possibly desire, unconstrained by any shortcoming of actual reality. The real mother that presented herself to Norman had to be killed and from her body and the actuality of her death; Norman found the sustenance to perpetuate the virtuality of fantasy. The mother lives on but only through death. She lives on in the all-encompassing spirit of Normans most primary desires. It was never about a mother, it was what a mother signified and the signification was suited so perfectly for him that he wouldn’t let the real sully it.
The problem with Marxism
Marxism is set in theory by a dialectic, namely the historical dialectic, which is a becoming of change and progress through history by the means of contradictions solving themselves through time. The marxist system uses the dialectic (not to be confused with Hegelian dialectic/Marx broke away from Hegelian conception) to understand the world in a scientific observation that would give light to the darkness of idealistic thought posited by Hegel. Marxism accepts that history is dialectic but marxism is situated within history and does not consider itself also as being dialectic. Marxists treat marxism as an ‘immortal’ science, like it’s above history and is a divine interpreter of events but they do not realize marxism is situated within its history and part of the dialectic of its own conception. Marxists hold marxism constrained, they keep it dogmatic, the ideals become stale, the principles don’t work because history is dialectic and marxism is not, the world changes and it can’t accommodate itself towards this change, it’s viewing the world in a way that contradicts it for itself.
Marxism needs to be revived, it’s dead because it falls under the trap of transcendence (transcending history) that places it (a materialist theory) in a world of idealism. The very proponents of the materialism in Marxism is held captive by the idealistic dogmas of its followers and system.
The reason for the Marxian break away from Hegel’s dialectic is because Marx viewed it as being “mystical” and too subjective yet Marxism is falling right into the trap of itself being “mystical” and too subjective by alienating the dialectic within itself and creating an “absolute” philosophy (the very type of philosophy Marx criticized Hegel for). As history changes, marxism needs to change or else it becomes idealism (in Marxian thought- isolating subjective reality) devoid of any dialect and impotent to cause change in a world it holds so dearly to the fluxes of change.
the holographic universe problem
Reality is an illusion/projection/hologram.
This is what quantum physics tells us but this is not wholly the truth for us. Scientific observation of reality is an isolated interpretation of inadequate human comprehension. Scientific studies in the fields of quantum physics and the deconstruction of reality does not tell us a truth about reality, it tells us a scientific conception of reality.
For the scientific study to function, it must work outside the subjectivity of human experience, this subjectivity is what compromises the whole of our experience, phenomenologically and ontologically. To isolate itself outside of the confines of our experience is to estrange the perspective of what is real for us into a objectively incomprehensible “alien” perspective, this perspective exists only in a negation of the dualism between objectivity and subjectivity. The problem with this is that we must be able to interpret this negation of subjectivity subjectively.
The comprehension calls for a subjective interpretation, the interpretation of an abstraction formulated by concepts to help understand and make sense of what is not understandable when you destroy the barrier of human experience. Through this articulation you receive the notions of “illusion” and “hologram”, these interpretations of an isolated wholly objective event turned into a subjective experience is a misunderstanding. The hologram does not exist, we don’t experience the hologram, the revelation of a hologram is not a revelation, it is a conceptualization of an isolated observation. This is the main reason why we cannot trust science to give us an absolute truth about reality, the absolute must exist within human experience and not outside the realm of comprehension.
Ego is everything
I know of a person who has tyrannized the ego, abolishing it from his very existence. Turning it into a symptom of all human evil and labeling it as an enemy to mankind. He proposes we need to rid ourselves of the ego to achieve a higher state of being human but it is the ego itself that gives us our humanity. He has set himself on a path of struggle to attain a greater goal for himself and others that he believes will usher in a divine human purpose. Without knowing it, he is acting directly on his ego. The ego wants to live for something greater than itself, it wants a higher purpose and a higher meaning so it can elevate itself to this greatness and it wants to suffer and to struggle for this greatness because in suffering is how we achieve greatness. Human beings who express the highest form of ego are willing to die just for an idea or cause, just for something outside of the self that is greater than the self; these are the people who sacrifice themselves for the greater good and suffer for what they believe is right. This is how the world is formed. The world is inherently meaningless, mankind cannot come to grips with the nothingness so we extend our power over it and shape it like it is clay and we mold this world to our desires. This is how religion has started. Man through living in a world with no purpose and no meaning wants to elevate himself to something greater so they create a God to create a world of meaning and divine purpose that can satiate the desires of the ego and make their existence important. The abstractions man creates from the ego are formulated because the ego desires suffering, it wants to struggle and it craves action to spark its progress. The desire to help others is also part of the ego. Through helping others we extend our power onto them, the power of our ego, and from this we gain recognition and feel like we matter in a world where we are looked at as human beings deserving of respect and dignity and our existence is meant to be appreciated. Helping others is the highest purpose of the ego because it increases its power and extends itself among others which sublates its desires into a greater whole. This is our humanity, this is what separates us from animals. This is where our spirit comes from. Without this, there is no passion, there is no reverence for life, there is no creation. Growth and progress of self and others is only possible through an ego that views such things as important and necessary, without this ego there would be full nihilism where the desire for growth and the struggles that it brings would seem utterly pointless because it serves no end, it has no meaning. Animals live with no meaning, they live for nothing higher than themselves and negating the ego is a progression into animal life. As the individual gathers experience and builds their identity, they project onto the world their values and morphs the world to suit those values. The greatest works of art and music is built on the egos of the artist. The ego creates kingdom and empires, it instills on the world its truth and it spreads affecting other egos through its power.
Ego has laid the foundation for every meaning in this world.
The ego is what makes us who we are. Without ego, the self disintegrates, without the self, there is a hinderance in consciousness and a hinderance in human desire. One desires to fulfill the self. Desiring brings something to the self, where it can fulfil and nullify the longing for it. Without ego, there is no desire. There is no creation, everything is meaningless, mankind does not possess any power, they have no respect for self and others and are alienated in the world and deprived of their very humanity. Through ego, all creation is formed, all the good and the bad, it is part of the whole, the whole of what makes us human and what creates meaning in the meaningless.