Final Aim

big-data

God or no God, the ultimate aim for humanity can only be determined cosmologically.

This statement is as true as: “we must all die.” In order to overcome nihilism, we need to find a positive relationship between cosmological problems and the problem of finding a value and purpose for life.

The idea of a fine-tuned universe[i] offers a first step to the elaboration of a philosophical method capable of offering a value and purpose for sapiens entities. In a determined universe, fine-tuned by the self-same cosmos to create conscious biological entities, advanced, sapiens life-forms assume an integral and even necessary function for the universe. From a universal perspective, consciousness is an essential ingredient, lacking at first, and so created out of necessity by the non-sentient universe so that it can perceive itself.

If God does exist, we must imagine It to be blind.

The most thorny problem is the concept of will or determination in the universe. If fine-tuning exists, how can it come about accidentally?

To leap beyond this conundrum, cosmologists have come up with the idea of the multiverse[ii], or the idea that an infinite number of universes have to exist in order to make our precision-made, godless universe possible. In a dynamic infinity, everything is not only possible, it is logically necessary.

The multiverse is an attempt to justify fine-tuning without the presence of any hand of a Creator, but for us, the multiverse idea is equally troublesome because it immediately drops us once again into nihilism and thwarts our attempts to find a value and purpose for life through the cosmological nature of things. For us, the determining hand of the blind, cosmological creator is found quite simply in the evolutionary process of the universe, and in its sub-atomic nature, which is based on information sharing[iii]. Particles share information and learn. Nature is self-learning. As Vlatko Vedral says: “information is capable of explaining itself,” [iv] and this idea mitigates the need to find a Creator. In the beginning there was information, and that information has evolved into the vast expanse of the universe we know today, which is an incredibly intricate mass of information and communication. Physics orders itself into what we perceive to be laws.

Seen in this way, sub-atomic physics becomes a kind of epistemology. If the essence of everything is information, then the study of that essence is a science of knowledge, or a science of the essence of knowledge – which has to be information.

Sapiens entities, like humanity, are not only made up of information, as everything in the universe is, we are also capable of understanding that information, even of modifying it – and it in these capacities of comprehension and modification that makes us not only a desired result of the universe of information’s evolution, but we are also a valuable, perhaps even absolutely necessary tool, for the modification of the universe. Our understanding of the laws of physics tells us that the universe is destined to die. But what if an extremely advanced sapiens civilisation were capable of changing the nature of the universe itself, much as we on Earth have shaped our own environments through technology: could that be the Final Aim of the evolving universe? Could it be to create its own salvation?

If so, this gives us our own great value and purpose of life: Not to save ourselves, but to be the saviours of the entire universe.

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_universe

[ii] https://youtu.be/bf7BXwVeyWw

[iii] See Vedral: Everything is Information https://youtu.be/QfQ2r0zvyoA

[iv] Ibid

MEANINGFULNESS: Transcending Nihilism and Determinism.

Quantum Energy - Universe

THE MEANING

The Universe is meaningful, or it is not. We cannot be absolutely certain one way or the other. Intuition can argue both cases and empirical investigation merely stumbles into an empty hole.

The question of meaning is a uniquely human, or, more accurately, sapiens issue: the concern over meaning is only pertinent to organisms that can understand what meaning is. The meaning is in the capacity to understand meaning. For the natural world to be meaningful, therefore, it has to create meaning for itself, firstly by creating conditions for life that can evolve into sapiens forms capable of understanding meaning.

This process of creating meaning is itself sufficient as a teleological reason. In this way, meaning is discovered through the creation of meaning. Much like Columbus had no original intention of going to America. He intended to cross the sea to India, but once America was found, the intention of all Trans-Atlantic voyages from Europe since then have been to reach the Americas. So, just as America becomes real through the discovery of America; meaning becomes real through the discovery of meaning. An event which was brought about by the evolution of organisms with an intelligence capable of formulating the concept of meaning and the capacity to invent and reinvent what meaning is.

This realisation that meaning is the meaning of meaning, contains a powerful positivism, transcending both determinism and nihilism: The Universe is either meaningful or it is not, but the fact that we can make that distinction or ask that question is meaningful. In other words, the very fact that we can conceive the Universe to be possibly meaningless makes it meaningful. That there exists a point, any point, in the vast stretches of the Universe where that question can be formulated, gives credence to the circumstance that, during the time that the intelligence exists to formulate such a question, the Universe itself, as it is conceived by that entity, is imbued with meaning.

Yes, meaning lies in the existence of the concept of meaning. If there is a meaning to evolution it is in the creation of a capacity to understand meaning, meaningfulness and even meaninglessness. Meaning proves the meaningfulness of all things.

Nihilism is therefore unimportant, because once we have understood the concept of meaning, life is meaningful. Likewise, determinism is a non-issue. Whether this was willed or accidental, it does not matter at all. The fact is that meaning exists as a concept and will only exist while the concept continues to exist. The meaningful course is, therefore, the way that will perpetuate the concept of meaning. Real nihilism would only arise when the concept itself is lost – which is impossible whilst a living creature with a functional language exists. Meaning is embedded in all language. The nature of language is to give a meaning to existence by naming existence. I think; therefore, I am meaningful.

But this is also misleading, because we are limiting our definition of language to the words we say, when in fact language can become a far more ubiquitous phenomenon. If we define language through its function, which is communication, we see that it is the very fabric of the Universe itself because communication is an integral part of the sub-atomic structure of everything. Language communicates information and cosmologists and physicists like Vlatko Vedral and Rafael Bousso argue that information is the bedrock of the Universe. [1] We can think of no better link between what we perceive to be the material and spiritual fabrics of the Universe, and no better explanation of the dual-reality of mind and body than the fact that the Universe is structured on information.  But we want to take this concept one step further than the physicists: if meaning is embedded in language and communication, and communication is entrenched in the Universe; then the Universe must also be imbued with meaning.

This brings us again to the importance of the sapiens. It is through a self-conscious understanding of meaning, which is knowing, that the language embedded in the Universe is imbued with meaning. Sapiens give meaning to meaning. Knowing what meaning is, makes meaning meaningful.

THE ANTI-MEANING

Yet, if the meaning is there, embedded in the fabric of everything, doesn’t this also leave us in the limbo of nihilism: if everything is meaningful, then nothing is more meaningful than anything else, and, subsequently, nothing is more important than anything else. Given this kind of metaphysical scenario; how can we decide what needs to be done? Nevertheless, this is an unfair question: the essence can never be a moral pointer in itself, beyond the essential question itself – which is: Is the essence of the Universe meaningful or not? If the answer is yes; the essence is meaningful and therefore good, and this is a moral conclusion that has moral consequences, but only while we know it. Remember, only while it is known what meaning is, can meaning be meaningful. The good is something worth preserving, or as Heidegger said, something worth caring-for. And, in order to preserve what is meaningful we must protect that which knows what is meaningful: we have to protect the sapiens; we have to protect humanity and its capacity for knowing, understanding and creating meaning through the arts and sciences.

This may sound like stating the obvious, but it is not obvious at all. For the last seventy years, at least, we have been living under a shadow of the threat of self-destruction: first, through the nuclear arms proliferation of the Cold War; and afterwards by our rapacious destruction of the biosphere. Humanity is now revealed to be following an anti-meaning, a meaningless jeopardising of meaning itself by turning our backs on the preservation of meaning, which is the preservation of humanity itself.

We do well to ask ourselves how such an absurd situation could ever come about? If the essence of the Universe is meaning, how could that essence be undermined by they who possess and understand meaning better than any other entity in the Universe? Without knowing what meaning is, there is no meaning. This is the existential role of all sapiens entities in the Universe, and every time your brain clicks into conscious-thinking mode you are participating in this existential experience. Our existence makes the Universe meaningful, and that puts humanity at the very centre of things.

To live in a way that threatens our survival is, therefore, fundamentally evil; it is life in the bubble of anti-meaning. This absurdity is possible due to the structure of human thought itself. Its logical form and its dependency on measurement in order to define and give meaning to things, not only understands meaningfulness, it also defines the meaningless. The same consciousness that allows us to comprehend an idea like the One, or absolutes of Good, or Truth, immediately creates an anti-version. Against Good is Evil; against Truth is the Lie; against the One is the Void … and against Meaning is Non-meaning; against Meaningfulness is Nihilism.

The logical creation of opposites in order to understand has a lethal effect on any idea of singularity. The One just cannot be grasped for any length of time by a mind that functions within a logic of constant comparison. If there is a meaning, there must also be an anti-meaning; if there is 1, there must also be -1. Traditionally, it has only been through the anti-logic of faith that thinking has been able to overcome the logical result of that equation: 1-1=0; equals nihilism.

Post-modernism was correct in associating truth with relativity and pluralism – we give the meaning we want to reality – but to save that pluralism from the anarchy of everything is permitted, it has to be anchored in the metaphysical ubiquity of meaning itself. As everything is allowed, then nothing is meaningful is a wrong assumption, because not everything is allowed. Everything is permitted except the assumption that the ubiquitous meaning is meaningless. We can’t think meaning away, it can only go away when we stop thinking. Nihilism, therefore, is not something that is thought out or thought away. Nihilism as non-meaning, is non-thought; it is the absence of thought. And if thought is a celebration of the meaning constituting the Universe, nihilism (non-thought/non-meaning) is nothing more than a threat, albeit a very serious threat.

OUR POSITIVISM

Our positivism centres meaning where it has to be – in our minds. The meaningful is linked to thinking and awareness. The more aware we are, the more meaningful life is. All ignorance diminishes meaning and propagates meaninglessness via a lack of awareness. Knowledge nurtures meaning itself. Likewise, art and technology, when developed through an erudite process with a thirst for knowledge, expand the meaningful.

By being centred in meaning we are situating ourselves in the centre of the meaningful Universe, and that is a spiritually uplifting experience. The deeper the sapiens species delves into its own sapiens nature, the nobler it becomes and the closer it gets to the purposeful existence of the good, because meaningful, life.

[1] For more information about the information Universe watch Robert Lawrence Kuhn’s video https://youtu.be/-ATWa2AEvIY or read Vlatko Vedral, Decoding Reality https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decoding_Reality

 

LOVE, THE REAL & THE IDEAL

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I

Reality is out there, but first it must be brought into view. But what, or more correctly who, can carry out this viewing, if not some biological form blessed with the gift of perception. And what good is being perceived if that which has the power of perception is incapable of appreciating that reality and understanding it in a meaningful way.

The capacity for appreciating, and a desire for understanding derived from that appreciation, is a kind of energy unique to Sapiens species. It is the result of a creative evolutionary process, an evolution unto the power to know and be known, a process possessing such an energetic vitality that we think it is suitable to describe it as a kind of loving, the love to know things. It may well be the same power of transference that we often use the term ‘love’ for, for all kinds of love are desiring processes of trying to know, and wanting to be known. To know one must understand, and there is nothing more vital in the success of human relationships of any level of complexity, from couples to intricate societies, than that of understanding. However, the connections between love and understanding are often not made at all when the term is expressed, producing the many vague forms that the term is used for at all levels of life.

So, if (A) reality is that which has been perceived and the understandings that have been made from that perception; and (B) the perceiving-understanding element in the Universe is the Sapiens species; and if (C) this process of wanting to know is part of what we call love, then, we can affirm (X) that the Universe without Sapiens is a loveless place, but also (Y) that the Universe with Sapiens is a reality embedded with love.

Love (the desire for understanding), is, partly, a power of transference and partly the capacity to receive information in order to make a deciphering of that information received. Love, therefore, may be felt, and confused, emotionally, but its basis is fundamentally intellectual.

And if love comes basically from transference of information, then this is also the foundation of all physics. From quantum particles to the couple in love, unto the stars and galaxies, there is a constant and necessary transference of information going on.

Love is not only that which is desired, it is also that which is needed for reality to take place at all.

In evolutionary terms, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, the highest form of transference-evolution resides in the middle of the cosmological map – in life. And in the Sapiens entities that have evolved in life.

If appreciation and understanding are evolutionary high-points in the development of transference, then love is a result of becoming that is, we believe, still becoming; still developing.

II

The Sapiens relationship with the Universe, therefore, comes through love, and this is the highest form of relationship that exists in the evolving Universe.

This is not a mystical statement; its metaphysical conclusions have been drawn from our scientific perceptions of the cosmos and from evolutionary principles. Truth is in the real as we, the Sapiens, being that Real, with a capital R, into view. The Universe becomes and will continue to become as we unveil it by perceiving it. All meaningfulness is wrapped up in this process of becoming; all meaningfulness is contained in us. We are the centre of the cosmos. All real positivism is contained in this fact.

III

There is another quality involved in love and, as such, in the Sapiens’ relationship with the reality of the Universe, and that is the desire for preservation which in its ultimate form is a longing for the eternal. In this way we can see love in the form of a triad: APPRECIATION + UNDERSTANDING + PRESERVATION = LOVE.

Love triangle

 

Information (2): Vs Religion

In our previous entry (Information 1), we proposed the idea that information is a metaphysical concept that bridges the divide between the material and the spiritual. We argued that information is omnipresent and that it is part of the subatomic fabric of the Universe. Subsequently, information is in everything and that everything is basically information; and, because the end result of information is ‘knowing’, this also makes information (in its complete form as the Universe) omniscient.

Of course, this is all sounds like a description of God, so perhaps we could create a new religion from it … A religion? Another religion? Oh, please, God forbid!

No, we don’t want another religion; but perhaps if we consider information as God and try, in a post-Leibnizian way, to imagine what an Information-worshipping religion might be like, then we may also get an insight into the way religions work as well.

So, if God was Information then how would the Church of Information be different to other religions:

FIRSTLY: There would be an absence of the mysteries that other religions are shrouded in. There is nothing mysterious about Information. The religion would operate without any occult pretensions; its followers would be awestruck and inspired by its magnitude and by its infinite possibilities in the same way that the arts and sciences can be awe-inspiring once one embraces them.

SECONDLY: Information in its pure form is not usually dogmatic, whilst religions are dogmatic. We have shown, in the previous post, that Information can be ethical because the uses we have for Information can be good or bad. Yet, while there is a kid of sin involved, if we use Information in a way that could be fatal to Information itself, there is no divine retribution.

THIRDLY: Information is not ceremonious: the celebration is inherent in the concept itself. Life as a conscious deciphering of information, is itself the celebration.

FOURTHLY: Religions are traditionally based on the idea that there is a better world beyond this one, and hence, this place and life is a mere transition to the other world. In an Information based religion there would be no Apocalypse or Final Judgement, no Paradise or Hell beyond this Universe. Leibniz was right in saying this is the most perfect of Universes, but not because it was created by God, but because it is the only Universe. There is Existence (through conscious, information deciphering entities that, through the objectifying consciousness of their collective subjectivities, allow existence itself to come about) or non-Existence. The final purpose of Information is to ensure that conscious, sapiens organisms can exist permanently in the Universe, and, by doing so, ensure the Permanence of the Universe itself as well. It is through the idea of idea of Permanence that a new optimism arises, that will bury the old nihilisms and point us in a positive direction with deep will for survival.

Without mysticism, dogma, ceremony, an Apocalyptic eschatology or any Heaven or Hell, our religion of Information can hardly be considered a religion at all. The real question that arises here is: Can a positive principle be expected to motivate large groups of people, and create positive revolution, without the vulgar trappings of mysticism, dogmas and promises of Paradise?

But, in order to answer that question, we need to examine the organisations that make religions work. We need to look at Ideology.

Binary Metaphysics and the World Will

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If the Information Age is to be remembered, it may very well be for its affirmation of the binary nature of the cosmos – that the essence of everything is a 0I0II0 process of information accumulation. The forms that have grown out of this amazingly simple, Either/Or, quantum reality are perceived by us as the immensely complex thing that is the universe, and from the perspective of the Information Age we are able to understand the mechanics involved in this process. It is a mechanics that had been deemed metaphysical or esoteric and spiritual by earlier ages, but now we see reality very differently. So much of our new perception is reflected in our computers and the other digital apparatus that have become so important to our daily lives – virtual realities exist on our desktop and in our pockets and they point to the virtual reality that is our own. Like the microcosm so is the macrocosm. Our computers operate with the most basic language possible, and so does the cosmos.

From the void comes form, from the inanimate comes life – and by sharing information these forms, inanimate or otherwise, are able to reproduce themselves. The foundation of the universe is a process of reading and interpreting information. It is an enormous factory of evolution and creativity.

SCIENCE’S ESCHATOLOGICAL APOCALYPSE

According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, not only humanity but also the entire universe is destined to suffer an unconditional final mega death when it reaches a state of high entropy. Nevertheless, whilst entropy pushes everything towards chaos, the tendency of life is to become less and less chaotic and more ordered.[i]  Here there are two dynamic forces at work – a dialectic of physics between nothing and anything, life and death, the positive and the negative, the yin and the yang. For life to win this battle, it needs to do more than just go on living and propagating more life as it always has done – it needs to understand the universe in a complete way. Only by understanding the fundamental error in its own system of creation, propagation and self-reproduction, will the universe be able to reprogram itself and tilt its evolution away from finality and a return to the void, unto eternity and perpetual creation.

THE WORLD WILL

It is in life’s nature to have a drive for continual creation and permanence. The same drive is inherent in the very building blocks of the physical world. We call this drive the World Will.

If it can be conceived that, through knowledge and technology, a conscious entity will be able to act like God and redesign the universe, pushing it away from finality towards the direction of eternity, then should that not be adopted as a primary motivation for such an entity. As humanity, homo sapiens, is a conscious entity, should it not become our priority to work toward the fulfilment of guaranteeing an eternal universe.

THE ETERNAL UNIVERSE AS A POINT OF INSPIRATION

Of course, there are more pressing problems, and to become God would take thousands of millennia to achieve. So why bother?

Cosmological reality is our reality. Life and death is our reality. Our motivations, what gets us up in the morning as well as that which inspires us to work, are driven by our perception of the purposefulness or purposelessness of life. The cosmological lesson derived from the second law of thermodynamics and the promise of the mega death is “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!” Our cosmological reality is pessimistic and in order to be able to truly think positively, without sliding into the trap of religious nihilisms and their promise of something better beyond this world, we need to have an antidote to the poison of cosmological pessimisms.

What we are proposing is the consumption of positive, purposive vitamins and their immediate effect is a positive enhancing of our perception of humanity itself, with all its positive ramifications. Its secondary effects will be in the solving of so many of our dire ecological problems. This is why we should bother about eternity.

[i] See Vlatko Vedral, DECODING REALITY, OUP, New York, 2010, p.67

THE UNIVERSE AS WILL

soull

WILL

What is will? It is a very vague concept, held up by assumptions and superstitions. Nietzsche called it something complicated[i]. It is certainly a very German obsession: Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche … Is it not a trap? Shouldn’t we stay clear?

Superstition or not, whatever we imagine it to be it has a great bearing on our lives. One must pit one’s will against the will of the masses, or against God’s will. We use it as a term to describe how we are driven, where our impulses come from, negative or positive.

There are powerful wills and frustrated ones. In the end, the concept boils down to an ethical one. There are positive wills to do ‘good’ things and negative wills to do ‘bad’. Instead of taking us beyond good and evil, the question of will brings us back to the great dialectic: What must be done if we are to do the right thing? Once we have at least a sketch of an answer for such a question, then we can start to imagine what kind of will we need to have – for will is a lonely word that needs to be determined by its goal if it is to mean anything. We need to define it by establishing where it comes from and where it should go.

Nietzsche understood this. He called will: “a plurality of sensations, namely the sensation of the condition AWAY FROM WHICH we go” … (as well as) … “the sensation of the condition TOWARDS WHICH we go” …. (but also) … “an accompanying muscular sensation which … comes into play through force of habit.[ii]

If we accept this definition then there are two main channels flowing from and through it: a) the conscious channel of personal desire, and b) the unconscious channel that we understand as habit. This latter channel has been coded for us and it exists in the likewise coded matrix of the systems that envelop us.

COSMOLOGICAL FINE TUNING

Cosmological Fine Tuning[iii] implies that the universe has a determination to create life. This poses problems for science and gives oxygen to theologians for: how can an inanimate thing have determination (without God)?

However, the idea that “the inanimate universe created the animate because it was God’s will”, is not much more revealing than “the inanimate universe created the animate”. Or, in other words, in order to understand what God’s will is we need to understand what physical forces could allow the fine tuning of the universe to take place. Which is also saying that by understanding the fine-tuning of the universe we can understand how the universe is capable of determining its own destiny. Which implies that God is not necessary again. If science can demonstrate how the universe was able to fine tune itself in order to make life possible within itself, then the phrase “the inanimate universe created the animate” is sufficient.

DECODING REALITY AND THE SEARCH FOR COSMIC WILL

A drive does not have to be conscious, but consciousness could be the result of a drive if the idea of consciousness is inherent in the mechanics of the drive itself. If the underlying mechanics of the universe lies in the behaviour of the quantum particles that are the basis of everything, then we must ask ourselves if the mechanical nature of those particles has any relation to consciousness.

Physicists like Vlatko Vedral and James Gleick claim that the universe consists of information. According to Vedral’s thesis, the universe is a massive compilation of quantum information[iv]. Information therefore, is the key to understanding what connects the universe and also why existence came into being in the first place. Likewise, it could also be the key to understanding how the universe could fine-tune itself to allow the creation of life within itself. In other words, Vedral’s thesis may point to an explanation of what the cosmic will is in physical, scientific terms.

In the introduction to his book, “Decoding reality”, Vedral says that the universe is made up of bits of information[v]. He argues that the actual evolution of any information gathering and communicating system would be a subjective, self-analysing condition. The kind of thing that we see manifested through consciousness. For Vedral “information is physical”[vi]. Information provides the “building blocks of matter and their interactions … on which everything is constructed.”[vii]

We believe that if understanding is a logical development of information, and that in fact it is a desired outcome of information, then there is an implicit determination buried in the information-universe that would find its absolute fulfilment in the all-knowing, intuitively gravitating towards such a fulfilment as a teleological end.

Seen from this perspective, the evolution of the information sharing sequence that is the DNA strand is a logical result or reflection of the information system that was already built into the cosmos. It also explains why life would evolve into the information discovering and creating machine that is the homo sapiens.

THE UNBEARABLE FRAGILITY OF FINE TUNING

But before someone gets a notion of bringing God back into the debate, we would like to make another observation about the nature of the universe. If Cosmological Fine Tuning does display a determination to create the animate from the inanimate then the success rate of that determination is depressingly low.

If Ward and Brownlee’s thesis is correct[viii] then complex life is an uncommon thing in the universe, which is strange if the whole universe is fine-tuned to the creation of life. In Ward and Brownlee’s investigation, we get a picture of a violent cosmic environment that is adverse to the creation of complex life. So how can the universe be fine-tuned toward life creation and hostile to it at the same time?

In order to answer this question, it is necessary to think about the quality of information (and consciousness) contained in the inanimate universe. It is basically intuitive and blind, lacking in any objective consciousness that perception can give it. It will have learned things through trial and error, trial and error. It is not the all-wise, all-knowing phenomenon that the religious like to imagine their God to be. Fine-tuning is therefore partly an accidental result of trial and error that is inspired by a desire by information to improve its own quality of information through an intuitional will to “know”. Knowledge has to be the desired result of any information system and so, if the universe is based on information that is its intuitive drive. Nevertheless, it is the most fragile of ambitions and the success of its dream may very well totally depend on us, and the evolution of the sapiens species.

[i] Nietzsche, BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, #19

[ii] Ibid

[iii] See Martin Rees JUST SIX NUMBERS (THE DEEP FORCES THAT SHAPE THE UNIVERSE), Perseus, 2000

[iv] See Vlatko Vedral, DECODING REALITY, OUP, 2010

[v] Ibid, p.2

[vi] Ibid, p.3

[vii] Ibid, p.10

[viii] See Peter D. Ward, Donald Brownlee RARE EARTH: WHY COMPLEX LIFE IS UNCOMMON IN THE UNIVERSE, Copernicus, 2003

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

Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder-_The_Seven_Deadly_Sins_or_the_Seven_Vices_-_Gluttony

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?

Wikipedia_-_taste_the_fruit_of_knowledge

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.