Fragment 195, word count: 474.
tags: hierarchy, equality, culture war, politics, transcendence, realist essentialism, Hegel, Marx, Descartes
The left vs right political difference can be clarified by where each side stands on social hierarchy. The political right takes hierarchy to be essential, decreed by God or nature, the proper triumph of the strongest. The political left disputes the legitimacy of hierarchy and asserts an ethics of widespread equality. The left does this ultimately on the basis of spirituality: there is something more important than nature’s food chain or even the realist essentialism of any Great Chain of Being, and the more important consideration is the great equalizer which is individual spirit, not the religious conception of spirituality, which stipulates an external almighty to which mere humanity is vastly inferior and utterly in debt, but instead a philosophical conception which completely removes the external almighty and asserts individual human drama-projection as the only transcendence. The individual self-perfecting of the Renaissance, Luther’s protestantism declaring an unmediated communion between deity and individual, and the mathematical rationalism of the Enlightenment, beginning from around the time of Descartes, all circled around an inkling of individual transcendence.
Marx, as a materialist, had no concept of spirit or of spiritual self-possession, and his materialism distorted left-wing political principles in a destructive direction. Hegel’s overarching architecture of spirit in history, identified in the gross units of mass movements, led to Marx’s concept of materially determined collectivism, which was another distraction from the individualism of spirit. Marxism squandered the transformational potential of the political left. Defining the left in materialist terms saddled it with all the apparatus of violence and centralized social control that go with property as a primary standard of personal definition and evaluation. The focus on material equality could only ever be approached through violence. Marx was specifically focused on possession of capital, the kind of property that is the means of production. Wherever there is property possession there is the apparatus of violence, and the apparatus of violence always attracts people who want to prove themselves the strongest. The culture of strength adulation blooms and then there is no escaping patriarchal hierarchy. This was a misdirection, and a distraction from the deep foundation of leftist principles.
Unpicking the Violence-Based State
Self-recognition as creative spirit (acquaintance-based metaphysical knowledge) unpicks the knotted tangle of the violence/ property-based state. Direct acquaintance with creative transcendence discredits declarations of the inevitability of a pre-determined course of nature or history. It eliminates the idea of an external almighty, which is always the ultimate support for an orientation up toward high command to receive the collective plan and story arc, judgment, supervision, and orders. By eliminating the legacy of metaphysical pseudo-knowledge (angels, gods, and demons; along with materialism), unpicking this knot eliminates the orientation toward a commanding height, and disconnects the personal dramas of individuals from the command-based hive-mind.
Embedded links :
Fragment 108, May 25, 2017, Found Buried in the History of Philosophy (word count 821)
Fragment 193, August 25, 2022, Spiritual Self-Possession (word count: 1,093)
Fragment 125, March 21, 2018, The Left is Dead. Long Live the Left! (Word count: 1,799)
Copyright © 2022 Sandy MacDonald.