INFORMATION (Part 1)

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Is information intellectual or physical; material or spiritual? The power of understanding information is certainly an intellectual one, but what is the essence of the information itself that our minds are deciphering? Information is a good reason for having a mind, but it doesn’t fully depend on the mind to be communicated and deciphered: there are other kinds of information – biological information, for example – that are unravelled and understood by all living organisms without any minds taking part in the mechanics of communication and deciphering at all.

If we consider the information shared by subatomic particles, which are the basis of everything, then we might be able affirm that information is everything and everything is information. We can certainly say that information is in everything and that everything carries information. And from this, we can see how information in fact transcends the spiritual/material divide; it makes the physical something omnipresent and God-like and turns the spiritual into a material thing that is part of the essence of the matter that makes up the universe. Information is the triumphant champion in the spiritual vs. material dialectic struggle: everything finds its unity in information.

Since in this light, the process of thinking turns into an almost holy ritual. It becomes a conscious celebration of the deciphering and communication of information. As conscious organisms, our human, homo sapiens, experience is therefore in constant homage to, and a celebration of, information. So, if we have to start a new Church, erect it on a rock of Information. We already have the word for it, so there’s no need to call it God, and we celebrate it every time we open our eyes or ears; every time we touch or taste something; each time we utter a word or statement; whenever we read anything or watch anything; or even each time we dream – our entire sensory, intellectual existence is a great celebration of Information.

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THE ETHICS OF INFORMATION

At first glance, little else can be said; all conscious unravelling of information, good or bad, is involved in this great act of celebration. However, given the nature of celebrations and rituals, we must consider the fact that there can be a “good” and “bad” way of celebrating.

Let’s assume that the Good Celebration is that which is Consciously Deciphering Information. From this we can come to ethical conclusions and deduce that a Bad Celebration would be one which would be a threat to the Celebration of Information itself. Or, in other words, all thought, which is a conscious deciphering of information, is good, except when it threatens the destruction of the capability of thinking itself. Through its restrictions on creative thought, dogma is therefore an evil process. At a greater degree of evil lie the thoughts that would endanger the existence of conscious organisms by creating conditions that would threaten their existence. The destruction of sapiens life-forms, through environmental degradation of internecine conflicts, has to be regarded as bad. In fact, any thought processes that create the destruction of sentient beings (wilful or accidental) should be regarded as Absolute Evil.

If we assume that consciousness is most highly developed in humanity, any threat to humanity is evil. As humanity depends on the Earth’s atmosphere to survive, any threat to the Earth’s atmosphere is evil; etcetera.

Likewise, good is embodied in life-affirming ideas. Life allows deciphering; it allows consciousness; it is the first great imperative. Good can also be seen in attempts to reach new and deeper decipherings and in developing the potential inherent in Information through the sciences: both pure and applied. Always, of course, if those discoveries are not applied in a negative, “evil” way.

The mere awareness itself of taking part in the Celebration, should have an animating influence on the individual. Through this celebration we are placing ourselves back in the centre of the Universe, investing ourselves with the purposefulness of it and emphasising the importance of our permanence and, obviously, our survival.

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Sapiens versus the Homo Economicus

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Nietzsche thought that pessimism was a slandering of the most powerful desires of life. This was no doubt true in the 19th century with its puritan, Victorian values. However, now we live in a global culture that embraces the potent life-impulses that Nietzsche loved and yet we are still a pessimistic and cynical society. Freud knew that Eros trickles into Thanatos. The will for life is tainted with the death wish. Life-impulses are not enough to give us a meaningful direction or purposiveness. There needs to be a rational, ethical anchor, an aesthetical positivism to drive our forward looking, future-feeling creative drives.

The future of the homo sapiens has to be Sapiens driven, instead of the mirror-world prison of the homo economicus.

The homo economicus is trapped in a purgatory of market exchange. That exchange system has no ambition other than to perpetuate the same old fantasy game of sacrifice for reward –

my labour for your money so I can purchase your products.

The Sapiens in us needs a stronger motive, a reason for being that is firmly locked into reality itself. Locked into the fresh metaphysical air that seeps out of our firm physical reality. Locked into the positivism that repositions humanity in the centre again.[i]

The homo sapiens has to channel its life-impulses through its sapiens reality. For us, knowledge is inseparable from life. Knowing is the highest expression of human existence. In sapiens terms the homo economicus has been a triumph of mediocrity and the insipid fantasies of that same mediocrity. The homo economicus has no feeling for human greatness and prefers to trample on it, screaming that its own insipid exchange-system reality is stronger than anything else.

In fact, the word noble sounds like a joke now. After all, it was the liberal revolution that beheaded all nobility. Even if only to replace the noble with its own creation – the star system. Good and evil have been transcended, but only to replace it with the winners and losers.

“Nobody any more is able to answer the question ‘for what?’”[ii] And Nietzsche’s lucidity continues when he predicts a culture (our culture) in which: “sensitivity to pain, restlessness, haste and hustling grow continually … and that the individual, faced with this tremendous machinery, loses courage and submits.”[iii]

But what does cowardice mean for the homo sapiens? Surely it has to be associated with a fear of thinking. Isn’t our lost courage a lost will to do what we do best? It is certainly a submission to the shackling of that sapiens faculty of knowing through discovery and its channelling into the all-consuming world of the market, our ubiquitous exchange system.

[i] See our earlier related blog entries:

https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/our-dependence-and-significance/ ; https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/uboric-will-hegels-spirit-the-godless-purposeful-universe/ ;

https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/ecology-as-ideology-and-the-uroboric-drive/ ;

https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/the-importance-of-metaphysics/

[ii] Nietzsche, WILL TO POWER, #33

[iii] Ibid

HOW TO FIND YOUR TRUE VOCATION IN LIFE?

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Imagine a future civilisation in which our technologies are so advanced that money has been rendered obsolete. Work, as something that one needs to do to earn an income which will pay for your survival or improve your standard of living, no longer exists. Now think: in such a scenario what would I do with my time now that I have all day to do what I want? Try and imagine something that you could spend most of your time doing without really needing to do it. If something comes immediately to mind that is probably your vocation in life. If nothing does then you’ll have to look harder for it. Or perhaps you can think of many things, in which case you probably have a holistic vocation that does not limit itself to specific areas and you’ve got a Renaissance soul.

What this also gives us is a measure of progress. The standard of living in a society improves when we can all actually do what we really want to do. Only when we have liberated society from the money system will we be able to make it a vocation-driven one.

NIETZSCHE’S ASSAYING ANIMAL

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In his Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche, searching for the essence of the human condition, uncovered the “assaying animal” the one that quantifies and qualifies. He observed that mankind is the species that sees itself as “the being that measures values”[1] and linked this self-perception to human pride and acuteness. Mankind is the assaying animal of the market place and “mankind soon reached the grand generalisation that everything has its price, everything can be paid for”[2]. But was Nietzsche here really associating the essence of the human with the Homo-economicus? It is certainly a very neo-liberal notion that we are, and that Nietzsche did… but how true is this assumption?

 

The assaying animal is a competitive animal, but is this a truly logical assumption? Assaying is not just a process of quantification: we don’t just compare things according to size or volume, but according to quality. In fact we could say that quality is considered uppermost over quantity, in almost all human assaying, in all fields of human activity except: (a) the economy and (b) the game. In these two areas quantity is the important thing. The economy is a mathematical reality in which pride can be measured according to the more zeroes one has following a figure that is not zero. Likewise, the game is usually devised as an accumulation of points. Sure, there is the idea of sportsmanship and cheating is frowned upon, but in the long run what matters, in the game and the economy, is that one has more points than one’s opponent.

 

Games and economies are abstract inventions, but in the real, beyond these abstractions, what is essentially important is quality rather than quantity. If one is ill, one doesn’t need any overdose of alimentation, what one needs is the right kind of diet to make one well. Offer a banquet to a starving man and you may kill him. The buffet bars that offer as much as you can eat, and the publicity campaigns that imply the same, are as damaging to public health as any drugs. When the assaying is quantitative the spirit cannot be an essential quality of our nature. There can be no real fulfilment in having more. The fulfilment comes qualitatively, by having what is better.

 

Human measuring, however, whether through quantity or quality, is inherent in the concept of freedom-granting power. It has always been in the interests of Power to determine quality by quantity and reduce reality to mathematical abstraction. Only when we can see all the perverse side-effects stemming from the subjection of the qualitative by the quantitative will Sapiens[3] be able to release itself from the cruelty inherent in the sadistic, aristocratic desires for the freedom of power.

 

All economic injustices are a direct result of aristocratic fantasies for the freedom of power. Fantasies which can only be conquered by a stronger desire – that which is inherent in Sapiens – the lust for knowledge, and the revaluation of all concepts via understanding and knowledge.

 

For example, only when democracy is understood as a universal granting of access to knowledge will the status quo of power elites be finally undermined. Power is knowledge and if the civilising trend is to be a democratic one then it must be understood that the universal access, distribution and sharing of knowledge is democracy; any secrecy is undemocratic; is anti-civilisation and barbaric. And knowledge cannot be measured quantitatively but qualitatively. A Sapiens measuring will be predominantly a qualitative one. Poverty will no longer be measured according to the amount of money one has, but according to the amount of fulfilment one has. Fulfilment for Sapiens will be a knowledge-based satisfaction. We are talking about an empire of Wisdom that is shared democratically and used for sensible, practical necessities primarily and for personal pleasure secondly. Dignity through a fulfilment of what is necessity. Pleasure through the quality of the life experience in the world. This is the Sapiens future.

 

[1] Friedrich Nietzsche, THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS, Second Essay, VIII.

[2] Ibid

[3] For more on Sapiens see my post “Where are we?” https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/where-are-we/

THE FOUR-CORNERED TRUTH

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“What is truth?” said Pilate, and washed his hands.

What the Roman Prefect understood was the enormous relativity of the concept. Even if Christ says “I am Truth” it still remains ambiguous. What does this Truth actually mean? Well, it can mean whatever you want, and that is what Christ became… whatever his promoters wanted him to be. Nevertheless the concept of Truth itself does have a meaning and a function. It is the anti-lie. If truth is relative then Truth is that which discerns the lies embedded in all relativity. For relativity can be used for honest and dishonest purposes. We have uncovered “truths” embedded in paradoxes, but we’ve also seen how the paradox is a powerful tool for covering lies[i].

Yet despite its ambiguity and elusiveness, Truth has to concern us. It is a synonym of reality and authenticity and will believe that an understanding of the triptych Truth-Reality-Authenticity is necessary for any real progress on a human level to take place. It is what really is, and this makes it the prime subject valid for humanity in the world. Truth is in the Subject and the Subject is that which encloses us. We can call it the Universe or the World. But Truth seen as the subject-world becomes a duality in which Truth has to be shared between the world and that which perceives it and brings it into true Being, and this is Intelligence. In this way we get a four-cornered truth of the World-Intelligence as Subject-Object. The world is the Subject to Intelligence because it only becomes Being if Intelligence perceives it. Likewise Intelligence is Subject to the World by perceiving and knowing and reflecting it in its brain before projecting it forward. In the same way it is also the Object of the World as it is equally dependent on the world for its own being.

Real Truth is therefore not just the Subject but the Subject-Object Uroboros. The reality of existence is that its Being depends on a Uroboric vicious circle – a paradox.  This idea, that the truth is a nasty paradox, may seem like a terrible nightmare or a liberation, but in any case it is a necessity.

The idea is not new: quite possibly, if depth-psychology theory is correct, it is the oldest idea. But though we still know it from the alchemical Uroboros and the oriental Yin-Yang, its profound relevance is not relevant to or even consciously realised by most people or their cultures.

 

That which is  not perceived does not exist. Perception illuminates that which is not and makes it that which is. Perceiving intelligence exalts that being with its knowledge. The Big Bang did not exist until intelligence made it real.  The ultimate purpose of the Big Bang, the desire behind the movement, was to create an intelligence that would evolve into something that could discover itself. Is this such a wild notion? How can a non-intelligence have desires? How could it conceive something without consciousness? Must we talk about Will or Spirit? Can we talk about these things?

Science is divided, but there are cosmologists who would have to say yes. In cosmology they now talk of the Cosmological  Constant and the Fine Tuning of the Universe. The Universe seems constructed in a deliberate way to allow life to form, and evolution on our planet would indicate that the culmination of the life forming process is “intelligence”. The intelligence that knows that it knows. If this is the truth then immediate ethical consequences can be drawn from it, the first being that our historical process of the segregation of humanity has been a totally equivocal one. From the simple idea that the Universe has a purpose rooted in the creation of and the subsequent existential partnership with Intelligence allows us to find new authenticities: a new purposefulness, a new meaning.

Our relevant beginning, our Genesis, is the beginning of the creation of the life-support system of our planet Earth. The concept of Truth as Subject-Object is a World-Humanity concept. Quality of Being depends on being perceived and “understood”. The key to our purpose is our responsibility as cognitive entities to the World-Universe that needs us for its own quality of Being.

The Big-Other narrative that we currently live in is a non-authentic one: it is a lie. The Truth is still to be discovered, but it is necessary for us to start looking for it “truthfully”, via our greatest tool for truth – science.


[i] See our article “Lacan, Poe, and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories” published in the Australian journal Going Down Swinging, #33 http://goingdownswinging.org.au/site/showcase/going-down-swinging-33/

WHERE ARE WE?

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Where is humanity now? Where have we arrived at? Our thinking has enabled us to know how to manufacture a technological world of our own making, but from this grand achievement it must be asked: if this is a world of our own making, who is it made for?

The truth is that the world made by humanity has not been made for humanity and still a large part of humanity are enslaved or condemned to a life of little hope and much suffering in our man-made world. Nevertheless we still identify with our world, or more correctly, with a certain part of this world, and most people justify their miserable condition through the identifying concept of “this is the way things are,” with the implication that it is also the way things have to be. Thus a metaphysical reduction is made without us even recognising it as metaphysical, that the essence of existence is the way things are, which gives us the Principle of Identity: A=A.

For this reason we believe that the only way to alter the answer to the question of who is the man-made world made for? in order to be able to respond “for humanity”, we must rethink our metaphysical outlook to reality. Firstly, by accepting that there is a metaphysical outlook which is itself inhibiting the possible realisation of a human world made for humanity itself. Secondly, by rooting our new metaphysics primarily in the homo sapiens attribute of knowing rather than the lesser but current principle of having. When to have is given priority over to know as a mere tool for obtaining or having things then the homo sapiens becomes perverted in its essence allowing the Sapiens element to be retarded and enslaved in the process of lack-want-have (or have not), a retardation which even threatens to reduce or maintain most of humanity in an unconscious, automaton reality: fodder for the labour-market and the consumer-game-world of macro-casino-economics.

Rediscovering humanity as the homo sapiens sapiens might be the best chance we have of overcoming the devolution we have suffered into homo economicus, and perhaps the only chance we have of making the world a world made for humanity again.

THE ARTIST AND HUMANITY

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The artist is often advised to ask him or herself who is his or her art aimed at? Likewise the writer is asked: “who are you writing for?” But in doing so the more important question of what (what is being addressed through the artistic creation?; what are we trying to bestow?; what are we trying to communicate?) is pushed into second place or worse. The who question, which seems so important for publishers and their publicists or for arts council grants, should always be an irrelevant interrogative because in its essence it is a tautological one: the subject addressed by the artist must in its essence be a human one, transmitted for humanity. The human is rooted in the essence of the term art and any exclusion (this work is not for them) is, by that exclusion, anti-human and anti-art. Not that art has to speak lowly so that all can understand it through its simplicity; in fact it should be allowed to speak from any register, but that choice of register has to come from asking oneself what is being addressed in the work rather than who is it being addressed to.

In order to see the true potential of what the artist is addressing it is necessary to not extricate the so-called fine arts and music and literature from their cousins in the Arts or Humanities, or human sciences such as psychology, philosophy, history, sociology, architecture, etc., nor from the pure sciences. All of these activities have a common-function which is expressed in the uncovering or peeling open of reality in order to find the essence and by so doing come to an understanding of what our place, as humans, is in this reality.

The role of both art and science, therefore, is to know, and through knowing to understand. But just as art is about knowing and understanding reality, an area usually associated with the sciences, so is science about representing, which is a function traditionally attributed to the arts. Therefore we can say that all the arts and sciences have their essence in knowing, understanding, and representing reality.

Whether through fiction or non-fiction the human perception of reality is formed through our arts and sciences: reality is both truth and imagination. And if reality is truth and imagination what is non-reality other than lies. Lies are an aberration or a perversion between truth and imagination. Lies are fictions created to be passed off as truths in order to benefit the liar in some way.

Another role of art and science is to unmask these lies and for this reason skepticism and cynicism are useful, if not difficult and dangerous tools, for artists and scientists alike. Part of the role of art and science becomes the act of revealing the lies for what they are, such as when they infiltrate our imaginations through seduction or by imposition through habits or norms.

HETEROTOPIA

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Michel Foucault, wrestling with the problem of the crisis of space, and, subsequently, the idea of the real and imaginary in spatial terms, came up with the concept of heterotopia to describe a place that is real and unreal at the same time[i] – as opposed to the Utopia which is imaginary only and does not exist.

In his essay Foucault lists the type of places that fit this dual-quality criterion, perhaps his useful analogy being the mirror. You look in the mirror and see yourself, but you know that you are not really in the mirror. Nevertheless, the mirror exists. Your presence in the mirror is real and unreal at the same time.

The idea of the Heterotopia is an interesting one, that has generated more interest by our own Heterotopic existences in the virtual worlds we can inhabit on the Internet. However, we feel Foucault in a sense could not see the forest for the trees, for, from the point of view of the Human-whole, the very fabric of our civilisation itself is heterotopic and, consequently, so is our human condition. We live a dual reality existence that embraces reality (that which can be found in a space) and the imaginary (that which exists in no space) at the same time. In a sense then, the term Heterotopia opens doors to perceiving the concept of Idealism from a new angle. For this reason, we would like to keep Foucault’s term, but amplify its range.

Heterotopic realities can be true abstractions of what they are intended to be, or they can be false ones. A mirror image, for example, can be true if it is well-made or misleading if the image it reflects is distorted. Likewise, the images we create of ourselves in a social forum or chat room may be attempts to reflect our true personality, or they may be ways of presenting ourselves in another form all together. The ones that are constructed in a falsifying way, conceal the real purpose or nature of their original conception. We call these constructs masking-heterotopias.

Another example of the masking-heterotopia is civilisation. Civilisation is a thing edified from certain human fantasies in order to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of the few within a form that seems admissible. It can only be admissible of course if it hides its desires and designs for wealth. At the same time, the demos, the people, or the civilian population, is also a masking-heterotopic construct. The demos is an ideated form of humanity that has emerged out of the desires of civilisation itself. The Wealth (yes, with a capital W) that runs civilisation began with its selfish-needs’ fantasy of what the human race could be used for, and turned them into a masking-heterotopic reality that the exploited themselves are largely unconscious of. In the masking-heterotopia, the admissible, imaginary form, once created, solidifies and becomes more and more real with time, but, in its essence, it is always that which was created as a mask over the real nature of the thing conceived.

To think of the people as something to be exploited for one’s own gain and for the maintenance of its own falsely heterotopic mega-construction, is a depressing pessimism. Nevertheless, the fact that human reality is an imaginative construct also bears very positive seeds.

If a civilisation serving Wealth can be imagined and constructed from that idea, then so can a future, authentically heterotopic civilisation serving the whole of humanity be construed in abstraction and made real in space. The greater our technological capacity grows the deeper should be our faith in our ability to create any kind of reality we wish.

Nevertheless, such a belief seems to frighten us more than inspire us. We not only have dreams to build; we also have horrible recurring nightmares. The idea of crashing once more into a Quixotic impossibility, a new Third Reich or a new Communist hell of terror and bureaucracy, paralyses us. The idea of the collective dreams, our collective ego-projections of grandeur, terrify us.

To create our own authentic Heterotopia, we need to overcome this fear. Overcome the fear and then imagine the future.

[i] See Michel Foucault’s essay, OF OTHER SPACES. A PDF copy can be found online via MIT http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/foucault1.pdf

 

 

DOXA AND ALETHEIA – TRUTH AND THE ARTIST (PART ONE)

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All aesthetics must, at some stage, if not always, wrestle with the conflicting demands of doxa (opinion/perspective) and aletheia (truth or disclosure)[1]. Some artists will solve this conflict by simply ignoring one side or the other, while others will try and bring the conflicting areas into harmony. A great art work, it could be said, is one in which there seems to be no conflict at all between the warring factions.

As soon as the artist presents his work, which, let us assume, is a pure piece of aletheia, the mere presentation of the work – its being made public and its unveiling – immediately subjects the work to the pressures of doxa. Doxa operates as judgement, and even without vocally judging, the silence of doxa is also a judgement. The principle dilemma of all artists is that sooner or later they will have to present their work, unveiled, before this judgement. The image of aletheia in isolation may seem immaculate, even if the model that has been created is the unveiling of a monster, but that unveiling is always a stripping naked. Before doxa’s initial gaze aletheia will always feel an uncomfortable uncertainty, for while it may not demand adulation it cannot bear condemnation, and it knows it may receive one or the other – or even worse: indifference.

The stress that doxa creates on the artist may cause the artist’s surrender or even pervert his or her artistry away from the service to aletheia and enslave them in the tyranny of doxa in which aletheia is banished from the creation. In the latter case it is usually the market place that determines doxa for the artist and, rightly, the artist’s own status is so diminished that he or she becomes a mere technician in the market-doxa machinery. For these doxa-technicians, for whom the restrictive canons imposed on their creativity expressly forbid contact with aletheia, work satisfaction depends on quantitative results rather than qualitative ones. The number of products sold, the box-office figures, the number of spectators, the amount of hits received… Doxa is now seen as a statistical phenomenon. The result, for many artists, is a rejection of doxa which they have now come to associate with pure, crass, commercialism, and dedicate themselves purely to aletheia.

But this itself is a perverted reaction, for the true condition of art is the dialectic  between doxa and aletheia. Quite simply, to ignore one or the other is to violate the harmonic tension that is the essence of art. Artistic truth is found in its own inner dialectic and any movement in one direction of the other away from the centre is a disruption of the very essence of the work. But, of course, this thesis should not be conceived as proposing any simple solution for the artist. It is the artist him/herself who must interpret doxa and aletheia in their own way. We are merely arguing that the judgemental, doxa voice that the artist will guide him/herself by in the process, must be appropriate for the aletheic subject we are going to unveil.

The harmony intrinsic in artistic truth is a relative, chaotic harmony. A harmony that must be searched for. A harmony that depends on finding the essence buried through the process of disclosure that is guided by the voice of opinion and the position from which comes the perspective. But what voice is that? Is there anything more general and relative than the concept of opinion? How many different perspectives are possible? And therein lies the art: for it is the artist’s trial to be able to find that right doxa which will allow the aletheia to properly unveil and illuminate the essence of the creation.

(TO BE CONTINUED…)


[1] These translations are based on Heidegger’s etymological directions for the terms relating aletheia (truth) with lethe (forgetting) and a-lethe (anti-forgetting)

WISDOM vs. ENJOYMENT or HOW TO START THE REVOLUTION (PART ONE)

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In his book “Tarrying with the Negative” Slavoj Žižek makes a very lucid association between enjoyment and national identification. The binding force of the State lies in its perception that the subjects of each nation have a particular way of enjoying themselves. Of course this ties democracy to a hedonistic rock: it is not the good that matters in politics, but the enjoyment that it ensures – or the good is defined by the enjoyment. Capitalism exploits this national inclination to enjoy, unleashing the full power of it by motorising it with it via consumerism’s will-to-want-more.

Of course this unleashing itself is an inherently dangerous act, for under its tenets, in order to have what we want we must have whatever we want – and in order to have whatever we want we need to have the freedom of the Master, and the Master’s freedom is derived through his/her power. This power is sustained by its power over slaves, which is absurd for, in theory, there can be no slaves in our modern concept of democracy, or at least no slaves who are conscious of being slaves. Or perhaps the resolution of the paradox lies in that very unconsciousness: if there were such slaves they must be unconscious ones, likewise driven by the will to want more enjoyment. Each of the System’s unconscious slaves vainly misinterprets him/herself as a master, with a master’s dignity, jealous of the enjoyment of the others.

The driving force of the consumer-will is a breaking apart dynamic with a negative chaos tendency that is undesirable and must be resisted. The consumer-will needs to be controlled, and so we arrive at State Capitalism, which is one step toward a more total control. Žižek was right to associate fascism with capitalism: “the fascist dream is simply to have capitalism without its excess, without the antagonism that causes its structural imbalance.”[1] In a slaveless society of Masters, the norm is that of Frazer’s myth of the King in the Wood.

That story which Frazer used as his starting point for his anthropological study in the Golden Bough is supposedly mainly an invention of Frazer himself. Nevertheless, factual or not, as a metaphor of power it itself is a brilliant piece of unveiling mythology. Its image of the priest-king, sword in hand, stalking the woodlands and lake of Nemi, anxiously anticipating the arrival of a rival who will come and slay him is an extension of the Oedipal myth that dominates the subliminal structure of our civilisation. But, what is the way out of this forest?

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Lacan called knowledge “the enjoyment of the Other”. According to him the very function of knowledge is motivated by its dialectic with enjoyment. [2]  We want to know things because we want enjoy things. The hysteric intertwines knowledge and enjoyment and makes it his/her own because the hysteric wants to make him or herself to be known, which they can only do by being desired as something which can be enjoyed.

But if knowledge and enjoyment are entwined, what is consumerism’s relationship with knowledge? Capitalism vulgarises knowledge, reducing it to the simple – if you know it exists you will want to buy it. Knowing is propagated superficially and misleadingly through the medium of advertising.

Yet, what if we were to modify or reinvent the relationship by seeing knowledge itself as the predominant factor in enjoyment. The pleasure comes from truly knowing something, not just knowing of it. Enjoyment now becomes a Sapiens’, [3] authentically human concept. To love it is to know it. And to know it as it really is, rather than to know it in the way we are told to know it. To see it as it really is rather than in the way it is shown us. In Lacanian terms, knowledge is a slave to the Master Discourse of the system, so, in the same terms, what is needed is a liberation of knowledge from the slavery to this Master’s Discourse. In order to do this Lacan gives three suggestions: objectify it; analyse it in a subversive way; or “hystericise” it.

If the Master Discourse which is geared toward maintaining the Master-system’s own power to enjoy whatever, utilises a seduction motorised by a vulgar desire to enjoy, then any analyses geared toward knowing before enjoyment and focusing on the idea that authentic pleasure is found precisely through knowledge, will be essentially subversive. For example, Stoicism, if practised today, would have to be seen as an absolutely subversive philosophy.

What the global, capitalist civilization wants its subjects to know is that language is not enough to tackle the breadth of what she as a system can offer as enjoyment. What is really important to capitalism is that she can be seen as the system of all systems. Through her discourse the whole world should come to know what a precious, invaluable object she is.

Capitalism regards the information age as its own invention. Information, therefore, is regarded by the System as the System’s slave, and, in the most part it is. The revolution, any revolution against the information manipulating Master, must be geared toward turning information into knowledge again. This can only be achieved by making information the Master itself, instead of the slave to the Other Master. Revolution then, as we see it, is a liberation of knowledge.

Once knowledge has been liberated from the shackles of the global capitalist system, it will be able to renew its discourse with enjoyment again. A discourse which can be authentic now, for without the self-interested manipulation of consumerism, it will be free to be deontological and ontological again. Knowledge can be knowledge again, allowing the human to be truly Sapiens for the first time.