IDirection 3.20: The summary of Francois Laruelle’s Non-Philosophy, with further commentary.

The Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing deals with the explanation of non-philosophy. In regular circumstance, this link would have been posted at the beginning of Constructive Undoing, but this is highly irregular, so, here is the link ( or at least the address, since it may not have transcribed the active link) to Laruelle’s own summary of non-philosophy:

http://web.warwick.ac.uk/philosophy/pli_journal/pdfs/laruelle_pli_8.pdf

That is the official summary. The Direct Tangents reflect a process of coming to terms with Non-Philosophy, since, what non-philosophy is is really part of the issue of figuring out how Francois Laruelle has situated his terms upon the point of contention. This post addresses the meaning of non-philosophy as a step in this process; Constructive Undoing is the revealing of the limitations of non-philosophical principles through aphilosophy. Please see my subsequent posts.

With that, here we are at an early phase of coming to terms.

Right off, I dare anyone to read the link and say ‘”wow, that was so clear as day; his meaning is so apparent”. Occasions aside; someone say that and then tell me what he is saying; that is, read it, understand it and then convey to me in regular language what he is saying. Please leave me a comment. The words appear to be simply laid, but as one reads the ideas seem to get tangled up somewhere. Even as one attempts to wrap their head around his concepts, it becomes difficult to really get ahold of what he is saying.

Now, my issue is why did he use such ridiculously dense and opaque language? I have to ask, why the Greek words? I have to open a dictionary and encyclopedia just to figure out the meanings of those words and then i have to ask why didn’t he just use the French, or in translation, English words. And what’s up with this ‘radical’ business? Its like I’d have to study his works or something, but, as I have been informed, not only that, I would have to study philosophy first in order to really understand him.

A question of mine that aggravates or disrupts this traditional method is: How is it that I understood him at first reading? But first, the more mundane or simple consideration, one that approaches non-philosophy from it’s ‘first’ stage, that of the usual subject-object duality.

I have stated my opinions earlier, but one more easily gotten reason is that it is because he is talking to academic or intellectual-ized idiots. Now, here I now reach: To back pedal; i do not mean that these people are stupid or unintelligent, I mean only to refer to a tendency for pomposity. Though in many cases the regular meaning might apply, here I prefer the ancient Greek, roughly in the sense of “one alone” or “ones own person”, and I extrapolate this to our issue: as one might will himself into the community, and thereby resemble Jean-Paul Sartre’s picture of the waiter as an analogy for ‘bad faith’, he thereby remains an ‘individual’ alone and separated: an idiot. Of course, idiocy abounds everywhere, but one must suppose that he is primarily speaking to an audience of academics. What I mean is, many of the people who would be interested in non-philosophy are so caught up in terms of privilege (read: educated jargon) that even the academics don’t know what they are saying beyond the jargon. They are actually speaking a language the meaning of which they cannot reduce to actual life; they are speaking of such high matters that practical application to being human and human knowledge has no baring in their purpose, except maybe in the sense of poetry. Yet, the idiocy is because it doesn’t matter; they are making a living or establishing a position or identity speaking this way and so it doesn’t matter if what they are saying makes any sense. In fact, it only makes sense because they are establishing an identity and or making a living doing it. Because they then have an identity by their jargonizing, their nonsense is very important, and the proof of this is they take no criticism from non-academics or people who may not appropriate the jargon, because they are ‘educated’ royalty who have worked so hard that they deserve to talk about nothing because it is very important – and because in many cases, all those other identical based thinkers turn to them for their great skill at thinking (such philosophy I call methodology because it has to do with coming up with methods based in an assumption of ethics that is invisible) all the more confirming to their own sense of propriety that they indeed – yup – are making quite a valuable and significant contribution to the world. As well; one can tell how important a person is by how many people they listen to; the deaf ear is a cultivated aspect of a truly skilled and deserving member of aristocracy. At least, this is most of them; Laruelle, I have found, is one of the exceptions, maybe. (See my earlier post.)

Anyways; to me what he is saying is clear, and the jargon does not hinder the conveyance; so I attempt to make clear in Direct Tangents his most significant contribution for the rest who do not have the patience or gumption to wade through his pudding, but who nevertheless would like to venture toward the truth of the matter. He is saying that we can know ‘more’ than what we think we can know, and that reality is larger than what we know as knowledge of typical reality, and – and this is key – and this atypical and unusual knowledge can be known. There; how clear is that ? Maybe about as clear as a sink full of dishes in dirty, soapy water? We might begin to get a glimpse of the problem before us then, as well as why Laruelle’s language appears illusively simple yet confoundingly dense: we cannot rest upon metaphysical or spiritual conventions.

See, many of the academics, intellectuals and philosophers who think they understand him really do not. But that’s ok because we really are only half way to seeing what the necessary implications of non-philosophy are. And a quarter the way, here, we find that the consideration of understanding is a mute point for Non-Philosophy, that it only goes off of what people who think they understand reiterate back in their involvement with the Project. The significance here is that we have to wonder about two parallax ideas: is any communication taking place, and then, what or what kind of communication is occurring. But see: these questions do not run into each other, they no not stem from either of each other to the other. They are parallel ideas that do not combine to coalesce, except in that their separation allows for the combination of meaning intended. (And again I have explained what a ‘parallax’ might be in the context of its description: two entities which are separate but which nevertheless combine to create a single impression or meaning. This meaning is gained through the converse of the definitional meaning; which is: a displacement of apparent position depending upon line of sight. )

Then again, some may just understand him. But there is only one position that has any barring upon the non-philosophical project: those who may understand it and yet disagree with it. In this case, we have two possibilities. Either they understand and merely confirm the point of what they disagree with, and thereby set themselves in a state of self-contradiction that they are in situ – that is, in their situation being as they are right then (see, I clarified my Latin (Latin ??)) – in denial of, and thereby confirm the situation whereby non-philosophy gains its credence. In this case, any rebuttal is a tragedy, since its so obviously comic efforts would be wasted on the seriousness of the rebuttal. Or, they understand and thereby set themselves in an apparent contradiction that they do not deny and are thus in a position to rebut non-philosophy. In both, one has to doubt the question of whether communication is occurring, and then figure just where, from what orientation, this question is coming from; this is an indication that we have to step aside in to another tangent, for someone somewhere is failing in the attempt to find truth, since he or she may have already invested the truth in relativity, which is to say, invested in denial. And, if they do not see this irony – that they cannot understand how there could be no communication, and yet they have not been communicated to through reading my posts – then I can only say that my proposition is true (Laruelle is in bad faith by the presentation of non-philosophy) and their doubt, again, is orientatively and concordantly wrong. But then I have to consider if a tangent on this point is even worth the compassion, since those I would be attempting to educate or enlighten have already decided against finding the truth of the matter, so accustomed and acclimated to darkness they have become. Yet, if there be light, what a comedy this has been!

We will see what post forms in the intermission.
***

For a more thorough addressing of the issue at hand, check out “Non-philosophy and Aphilosophy”.  Avaliable in eBook here: Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

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Direct Tangent: 3.14

Somehow we have to get to the point of this whole matter. Physicists,I understand, have discovered the Higgs boson particle; which is, if I am correct, the ‘Higgs’ boson, as opposed to some other type of boson; I figure some guy named Higgs predicted that there should be this particular kind of particle – and now they have found one. It has something to do with being responsible for matter.

Now, I am no physicist, but I do understand one thing: I cannot possibly understand what a boson really is unless I’m a physicist. I can only estimate for my thinking – but I should be careful because any further postulatizing I might do about the boson will be based upon my near complete misunderstanding and so would be most likely false. As far as I know, there are particles that have no qualities about them except that they have a sensible effect somehow, and that these particles ( I have to keep in mind that though they call them particles they are in no way like a grain of sand or a cracker crumb on the floor) combine in such a way as to allow for parts of an atom that eventually (in theory anyway: in the theory that involves me using the term ‘eventually’ as if to imply a temporal movement that occurs out of time and only in the logical linkage of thoughts) become particles in the way I typically think of them: having mass and energy, occurring uncertainly as a wave in one instance and a particle proper in the next – but really at the same time.

*

Now, I’m using this example to attempt to indicate what Laruelle is proposing. He is proposing that there is something beyond our ability to have particular knowledge about, as to quality, of which we can only have knowledge about that it must be there. He is saying that there is a knowable aspect, if you will, of being human, that informs ones ability to know things, and because this aspect informs what can be known, it is not knowledge of the same quality as that of knowledge proper, that is, what we typically understand as knowledge and the object. By this move, Laruelle is indicating a distinction of knowledges.

But in order to make this distinction, one has to speak very carefully – and even then we still get the more keen observers who do wade through his rhetoric and ask him: ” how do you know this”. In as much a Laruelle is framing the possibility of reality by his distinction, he simply answers: “because it is real”.

Who is being the smart-ass? Is it the question or the answer ?

See, the question is asking: if knowledge is knowledge, is what we know, then how can you know of something apart from knowledge ? In other words: isn’t then such knowledge merely more knowledge? So they say: ” How do you know this.”

But then Laruelle’s answer, part of the postulates of Non-Philosophy, is the distinction; he proposes it by the evidence that knowledge ( which he limits and delineates as ‘philosophy’, in order to specify and example by confining his attack to a noticeable and specific target) never gains its object, in fact, it keeps arguing and asserting the same premises, objectives and conclusions under different terms. So, for one, there has to be something else, that can only be called knowledge, that is able to notice this fact: This noticing must be of a knowledge that is somehow apart from the rhetoric which it recognizes. Laruelle thus says: “Because it is real”, meaning because it makes sense logically, but also because he knows it prior to logic.

.

If one does not see Laruelle’s argument that philosophy repeats itself, then that one will rebut to Laruelle: how do you know this? Because such a one is caught up in the progress that is asserted by thoughtful problem solving, he thereby sees that there is nothing outside of knowledge and so Laruelle’s proposition too is but a situating of knowledge – and a situating that is incorrect, to boot, because it indicates a contradiction of terms, and contradiction indicates fallacy, falsity. Yet, ironically, it is the veracity of this argument that gives Non-Philosophy it’s credence.

* * *

For now, I will let the irony try to work its magic, and will return with more later.

Tangent 3.9: Love

The song, “This is not a Love Song”, by the 80’s band PiL, for some unknown reason – not that i liked the song when it was around – came through my mind today.

And this seemed relevant…

Love. To me, love is more than attraction, or even intense attraction, or infatuation, or big like, and it is not just sexual attraction that can be called lust. It can be all of those, but to me, it is commitment. To me, love is the knowledge that usurps whatever reservations I may have had for what I before may have thought was ‘commitment’. Love effects me so that the feeling or thought or intuition I may have had upon what the future may hold, is accompanied by a negation of what potential desires I may be imagining of that future, such that I know that I will always have invested concern for that person in my life, that my future becomes thus ‘our life’. The commitment may not always be easy to uphold, but whatever dissatisfaction may arise, it is and will be always, to the best of my ability, tempered by love, that indeed we are committed.

Probably many people have no idea what I’m talking about. I see this is because they have no idea what love is, that to them it has to do with immediate desire. Perhaps this is why divorce is such a viable presence and why many people do not get married. And I mean married in the supra- or extra- institutional sense, as a committed relationship made between two people aside from social stamping.

** **

With this, I enter on a tangent upon the main issue of my ongoing discussion concerning Laruelle and Non-Philosophy.

Now, when commitment is seen or understood as requiring a great effort, where love has seemed to have nearly disappeared from the relationship, I would suggest that it is because love, true love, that stems from mutual love, was not really true to begin with. Love, when it has developed along side of commitment, as a force of will, only loses integrity as an effective ideal when the individual is oriented upon desire – that is unless great force is applied, and ironically, love is the great force that is usually misunderstood and so never leveraged effectively, which is to say without will. Don’t get me wrong, though; desire is a natural and inherently good aspect of our human being. The problem is when desire dominates the individual so as to fulfill one’s purpose in life, it usually inflates the sense for the need of willfullness. Want becomes the overwhelming motivation in being human; want becomes what it is to be human.

In an attempt to be more clear: In existence there are objects. In an earlier post, I write about how things are, for our being human, entirely contained in knowledge. The physical effect, such as pain, created by an object, while causing some reaction in us – the meaning of such effect is mediated and significant to us only in and by knowledge. There is not pain for a human being that is meaningless. Even if someone were to not know the reason of pain, or could not identify a source and purpose of an effect from a thing, the meaning is exactly “I don’t know”. Autonomic reaction, or reflex may occur, but not void of meaning. There is nothing real or unreal that is not contained in our knowing of it, of it being of knowledge.

The solution to the basic problem of humanity must begin with knowledge. The basic problem arises between the subject, the person or single individual, and the object, the thing. This duality has been relegated into the duality of thought and action. The problem can be phrased thus: how does one be consistent with one’s self ? How does one proceed to remain confident at all times that he or she is doing what is best for him or herself, all the while remaining within one’s own ethics such that there arises no conflict, no doubt of one’s own self in life? Is there a way to align one’s thoughts and actions so they achieve the fullest benefit of life for one self (as this may include social benefit, but it does not have to) ?

I propose that such questions align with a perception that includes the individual as a thing, and, that because an individual is thereby a thing, the individual itself, of itself, to itself, is likewise a thing. Such perception also aligns with the idea that we have a subjective, or inner self, that we are capable of thinking upon as if it were likewise a thing, in other words, objectively. This idea has been expressed many times in the ontological (issues of Being) postulates that arise as “we can be conscious of our own consciousness”, and we then get the ‘ego’, ‘super-ego’ and such psychological constructions by extrapolation.

When such a perception or idea forms the root or ground of one’s thinking about reality, history unfolds in a progression that finds psychology, which is the human being come complete as a thing, an object: a subject-object. Hence, items or objects of the psyche thus also become things and can be liked and disliked, and then not only do other individuals become appraised as to objective qualities, but the individual itself, upon itself, as if he or she is likewise an object to be appraised of qualities, is defracted, becomes, as a process of history, divided unto itself. The solution of psychology aggravates its own problem. This is our present condition of human conventional understanding. (And this is the problem Laruelle notices of philosophy. )

I venture to say, coming back to the topic at hand, that such an individual, a subject-object, has no ability to love to another human being, beyond merely desiring them to possess, as a thing might be possessed. The human being is not a thing with definite static qualities; even noticeable traits that seem consistent change. Rather, this is to say, the love as commitment achieves for such a one, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, and struggle. Attraction, linked as it is to a definite quality of thing, fails in the effervescence of the human dynamic.

Love, true love, is called up from the subject to test the integrity of the Being in the world. The problems of the world are the the failure of the subject of conventional knowledge (the subject-object).

Are we things or are we Beings? When love is true, attraction never goes away, the complexities of life do not sway one from the other but only confirm that the love is true; desire never diminishes, attraction never fades, and love grows.

*

When Laruelle talks about his project of Non-Philosophy, he is implicating that which I speak here, that i have put in terms of love.

I shall continue back into the discussion proper, after these messages….

Tangent 3.9: Love

The song, “This is not a Love Song”, by the 80’s band PiL, for some unknown reason – not that i liked the song when it was around – came through my mind today.

And this seemed relevant…

Love. To me, love is more than attraction, or even intense attraction, or infatuation, or big like, and it is not just sexual attraction that can be called lust. It can be all of those, but to me, it is commitment. To me, love is the knowledge that usurps whatever reservations I may have had for what I before may have thought was ‘commitment’. Love effects me so that the feeling or thought or intuition I may have had upon what the future may hold, is accompanied by a negation of what potential desires I may be imagining of that future, such that I know that I will always have invested concern for that person in my life, that my future becomes thus ‘our life’. The commitment may not always be easy to uphold, but whatever dissatisfaction may arise, it is and will be always, to the best of my ability, tempered by love, that indeed we are committed.

Probably many people have no idea what I’m talking about. I see this is because they have no idea what love is, that to them it has to do with immediate desire. Perhaps this is why divorce is such a viable presence and why many people do not get married. And I mean married in the supra- or extra- institutional sense, as a committed relationship made between two people aside from social stamping.

** **

With this, I enter on a tangent upon the main issue of my ongoing discussion concerning Laruelle and Non-Philosophy.

Now, when commitment is seen or understood as requiring a great effort, where love has seemed to have nearly disappeared from the relationship, I would suggest that it is because love, true love, that stems from mutual love, was not really true to begin with. Love, when it has developed along side of commitment, as a force of will, only loses integrity as an effective ideal when the individual is oriented upon desire – that is unless great force is applied, and ironically, love is the great force that is usually misunderstood and so never leveraged effectively, which is to say without will. Don’t get me wrong, though; desire is a natural and inherently good aspect of our human being. The problem is when desire dominates the individual so as to fulfill one’s purpose in life, it usually inflates the sense for the need of willfullness. Want becomes the overwhelming motivation in being human; want becomes what it is to be human.

In an attempt to be more clear: In existence there are objects. In an earlier post, I write about how things are, for our being human, entirely contained in knowledge. The physical effect, such as pain, created by an object, while causing some reaction in us – the meaning of such effect is mediated and significant to us only in and by knowledge. There is not pain for a human being that is meaningless. Even if someone were to not know the reason of pain, or could not identify a source and purpose of an effect from a thing, the meaning is exactly “I don’t know”. Autonomic reaction, or reflex may occur, but not void of meaning. There is nothing real or unreal that is not contained in our knowing of it, of it being of knowledge.

The solution to the basic problem of humanity must begin with knowledge. The basic problem arises between the subject, the person or single individual, and the object, the thing. This duality has been relegated into the duality of thought and action. The problem can be phrased thus: how does one be consistent with one’s self ? How does one proceed to remain confident at all times that he or she is doing what is best for him or herself, all the while remaining within one’s own ethics such that there arises no conflict, no doubt of one’s own self in life? Is there a way to align one’s thoughts and actions so they achieve the fullest benefit of life for one self (as this may include social benefit, but it does not have to) ?

I propose that such questions align with a perception that includes the individual as a thing, and, that because an individual is thereby a thing, the individual itself, of itself, to itself, is likewise a thing. Such perception also aligns with the idea that we have a subjective, or inner self, that we are capable of thinking upon as if it were likewise a thing, in other words, objectively. This idea has been expressed many times in the ontological (issues of Being) postulates that arise as “we can be conscious of our own consciousness”, and we then get the ‘ego’, ‘super-ego’ and such psychological constructions by extrapolation.

When such a perception or idea forms the root or ground of one’s thinking about reality, history unfolds in a progression that finds psychology, which is the human being come complete as a thing, an object: a subject-object. Hence, items or objects of the psyche thus also become things and can be liked and disliked, and then not only do other individuals become appraised as to objective qualities, but the individual itself, upon itself, as if he or she is likewise an object to be appraised of qualities, is defracted, becomes, as a process of history, divided unto itself. The solution of psychology aggravates its own problem. This is our present condition of human conventional understanding. (And this is the problem Laruelle notices of philosophy. )

I venture to say, coming back to the topic at hand, that such an individual, a subject-object, has no ability to love to another human being, beyond merely desiring them to possess, as a thing might be possessed. The human being is not a thing with definite static qualities; even noticeable traits that seem consistent change. Rather, this is to say, the love as commitment achieves for such a one, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, and struggle. Attraction, linked as it is to a definite quality of thing, fails in the effervescence of the human dynamic.

Love, true love, is called up from the subject to test the integrity of the Being in the world. The problems of the world are the the failure of the subject of conventional knowledge (the subject-object).

Are we things or are we Beings? When love is true, attraction never goes away, the complexities of life do not sway one from the other but only confirm that the love is true; desire never diminishes, attraction never fades, and love grows.

*

When Laruelle talks about his project of Non-Philosophy, he is implicating that which I speak here, that i have put in terms of love.

I shall continue back into the discussion proper, after these messages….

Tangent 3.1: Feminism

Readers may be confused by my comment on feminism, like it came out of nowhere and then was shanghai’d and made into a strange, over-milked form. That’s ok; I intend to be clear, so I should take a moment to explain terms that perhaps are not widely understood. Also, I should be clear that what I am describing some may consider just one aspect of what feminism is, a narrow aspect, but I believe that no feminist worth his or her weight will discount my presentation here. ( And I do invite critique.)

In the common world of everyday, feminism means about the same as women’s rights, except maybe a little more hardcore. A feminist of this sort maybe has become a sort of stereotype, maybe wears her hair short, but maybe not; maybe she tends toward more traditionally masculine jobs such as tree trimming or the trades, or maybe is driven to achieve in business and become a CEO, maybe she is just one who is sensitive for typical traditional Western manners such as holding a door for a woman or letting her in first. Maybe, even, she is homosexual. But also maybe – and this could be the most modern form of common feminism – she is none of these. Maybe she is a he: men can be feminists too (but not really, because they are men – wink, wink, nudge, nudge). At minimum, though, feminism is usually associated with advocating for women.

Yes; feminism most assuredly arose from the problem of women as second citizens. But feminism is not just about women’s rights. Feminism proper (and I use this ‘proper’ as a designating term of propriety, of what an end-run of analysis would bring) sees itself more as a praxis. As I explained in an earlier post, praxis can be said to be an alignment of knowledge, thought and activity into effective practice; feminists and social activists like the term ’empowerment’. Feminism thus usually concerns social arenas of human interaction, but especially uses of power.

Feminism is rooted primarily in critical thinking, and along with this, discourse. One of the basic ideas that was brought out by feminism was or is, what can be called, ideological encoding. What this means is that power is supported just as much, if not more so, through talking as it is through physical force. Power is encoded into how we speak of reality, and is developed and maintained as a manner of speaking about what is true, and what is ethically correct; this latter part forms what is called ideology. Such encoded structures of power are called discourse. Feminism arises as marginalized, or oppressed people, people who do not or have little say in what they are to do in life, begin to question what it is that keeps them down. Feminists have thereby equipped themselves with the tools to subvert unjust wielding of power. They see that every discourse has an implicit agenda, and their role is to uncover what this agenda is and how it functions in the ideological reality for the maintenance of power. Much of feminist critique concerns how such discourse occludes itself, or hides its mechanisms, from a notion of power as a part if its effect, so the other half of feminist praxis is to awaken subjects of power, to educate them, the oppressed, to their actual situation within ideological power structures.

*

I mostly agree with feminist intent, though sometimes I think it is over applied.

My comment on feminism in the previous post concerns the implicit and explicit concerns of feminism and how, though they do often and mainly serve well for what can be known as ‘the good’, they tend to convey a limitation of this good founded in social justice, as if justice and fairness is the end, that one then can go on their marry way content that they have been empowered and achieved freedom in its most ideal and essential sense. My complaint is with the ideological structure in which feminism finds its true reality. For if the end run is indeed freedom and justice, once found through social action, they can not be taken as a Mercedes Benz that one has worked so long and saved up for, the prize having arrived. While they are noble things for which we must establish stalwart boundaries to guard against that which would more crassly and overtly impinge upon such freedom and justice, once established we must be obliged by such earned luxury to renounce it as individuals. We owe it to what is known as history not to become spoiled and lax, but to continue fearlessly into the void that is left inside the barricades, that we love, the void called freedom. We should not waste it on selfishly created despair and harbor together in support against the cold, gathering chemicals to ease us and things to appease us, sick minds to comfort us. We need continue onward. This is what I say.

Thank god for the feminist infantry who man the lines; but what they offer is not the goal, it is just the beginning.

Direct Tangent 3.1: Appropriation of the Rhetoric of Power, part 2

There is a book called “Castes of Mind” by a man maned Dirks. It is an historical analysis and critique of 19th century English colonialism through an overtly cultural difference, caste, and how this feature of Indian culture was dealt with both by the English in an attempt to rule, and the Indians attempting to assert cultural autonomy and agency. I do not remember what his argument is beyond a picture of this interaction, but what I inferred from his presentation was this idea of appropriation of rhetoric, what feminists and modern theorists and activists call, but from a slightly but significantly different view, ‘hegemonic discourse’. Dirks is giving us a picture of how ideology asserts itself through a process of discourse, where those who have the power, in the case of colonialism in India: England ( but colonialism in general), dictate the terms of the cultural negotiation upon the colonized, namely, the indigenous Indians. The scheme or group of terms and their definitional relations are seen as a mechanism or tool of asserting power (read: violence) upon those who are colonized, and, as a very light definition, this is called ‘hegemony’.

What this means is that those in power bring the terms by which those not in power may be allowed to exist. And this is literally the case. Dirks paints a picture of how this really means for us that people are permitted to exist through discourse. One example (keep in mind I am not doing a research paper here; I am merely recalling the book from memory – one can easily look up the book for themselves if interested) he gives is about some Indian ritual. If I remember correctly, Dirks is drawing his analysis from written material of the time of the events, from various sources. The significant point here, is that the English there had trouble making sense of it. When they would ask the locals what was going on, or their feelings about it or the reason behind it, the English had no context by which to understand them. The Indians were effectively silent; they could not be heard: they effectively did not exist. Because of this, the English could only act upon the events through the understanding they had, which was total misunderstanding. The English, because of their position of power, were righteous in their view, having little or no ability to understand that they perhaps did not understand the Indian context: the Indian context was exactly what the English thought it was. Thus, the Indian context, the reason and meaning of the ritual in this case, was ultimately written by the English. The Indians, in an effort to establish their cultural legitimacy thus, in various ways and circumstances, developed a position in relation to what the English were saying, and doing, and in this way the Indians began to exist, for if they did not respond to such rhetoric in that fashion, they would in effect ‘remain silent’, and would thus be forced, physically, existentially, out of existence.

This is the typical feminist reading, analysis and comment upon such a situation; there are many such analyses upon various cultural contexts. The feminists propose to reconcile this hegemony, to balance this abuse of power and infringement of human autonomy and rights, by advocating that the colonized people, whether it be women, blacks, Hispanics, Argentinians, Koreans, hair dressers, union workers, or what, raise their voices, as the Indians did, by asserting themselves actively into the discourse, what one could call, the priority discourse, or the discourse of power, what i call a ‘rhetoric of power’ for reasons I will develop later.

What I am saying is a critique of such feminist rhetoric. The Feminists say that one needs to appropriate the hegemonic discourse, so that there is enacted thereby a shift in power, so it loses its effective hegemony. See, hegemony is read to imply agenda that is not recognized or approved of by those who are the subjects of the hegemony. But I suggest that what occurs is not that the people are empowered to their agency, but rather, they themselves become subject of the rhetoric of power such that they then too get to partake in the spoils of – what has developed out of – the hegemony, of colonialism. The people who appropriate the priority discourse lose their identity as individual cultural agents, and instead become, as Paulo Freire might agree ( maybe, but his was not at this level of critique), oppressed: involved in the game of oppression, both the oppressor and oppressed likewise caught in play. The oppressed, who learn the ways of the oppressor, become acculturated such that they are rewarded for their complicity, and thereby sustain the game of oppression. Neither have enacted a true free agency, neither have come upon praxis; both are oppressed.

* *

This is the position Laruelle appears to be presenting, the position I present here. Laruelle has appropriated the rhetoric of power, the priority discourse, in order to present his minority view, which is exactly silent – but as opposed to the movement of feminist-colonialist theoretics, which present the possibility of pushing agencies out of real existence by virtue of the establishing reality of the hegemonic (priority) discourse. And, it is because of this feature of his proposing Non-Philosophy within or by the priority discourse that he appears to be in Bad Faith.

It is thus the explicating of this appearance that is my task at hand here. The existence Laruelle proposes is exactly real opposed to the reality of the rhetoric of power.

Direction 2.28: Appropriation of the Rhetoric of Power

The impetus of this blog page “The Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing” concerns the question: In the explication of his project called ‘Non-Philosophy’, why is Francis Laruelle so bogged down in high-speak jargon?

Now, be prepared; this series of essays is gonna drop some super bombs on your ideal reality. Granted, probably next to zero people are following along ( though I write as if some one person is), but the explanation is simple, as I said earlier: people care nada. Most people do not care about anything but their own idea of what is correct. If I can coin a term I just picked up from another blogger: the sheeple make up 99.99 % of the population, the cattle-people, and of that .01 that may care, hardly another .001 of those will be able to burden themselves with such a weighty, hard-hitting conceptual explosion. They only want to do their skill set and proclaim their ethics upon the world from their porch while they drink margaritas and bar-b-que steaks on their days off. There is no getting through to most people.

OK. Now that I’ve alienated what audience I had left, as i eat my steak and drink fruit smoothies, you fraction of a minutiae, you one people, you zero-percenters, get to see if you can hold on, because I am speaking to you. It is among you that the point of this discussion may find root. What I have to offer should be heard by academics, but I’ve probably insulted them too much already and their career typically doesn’t allow such boldness. One must remain timid, pliable; which is to say, conventionally acclimated.

* *

One might be easily drawn to the conclusion that Laruelle is an academic, and has been involved in academic circles so has been long acclimated to such linguistic weather. Sure. I am sure that this is the case. The idea behind this, though, is that academia hold the path to answers and that these answers, as well as the route, can only be understood through jargon. This is one explanation: it was the only language he knows/knew ( he is still alive at this point in time).

Yet the nature of his non-philosophy belies this explanation, for its message, the message that necessitates the ‘project’ aspect of his proposition, is saying as much as I am. Whether he sees it or not, there is a contradiction involved in his using the jargon to speak, or attempt to convey a reason and a proposal for action, against the proposal that is implicated by his use of such jargon. Hence, non-philosophy and philosophy, respectively.

The point of his project, though, is exactly that he sees the contradiction, and is in an effort to make it consistent. This is his project. To be clear: he must assert the project because it has to be more than a theory because the theory contradicts itself in its presentation.

* *

What we are seeing here is a trick of mirrors. See, what I am offering here is a description of what Laruelle is up to all the while showing through my description what he is actually saying; I am presenting a picture of what he must mean by not only explaining his ideas, but presenting the moment of understanding as the process of reading this essay.

What we have with non-philosophy is a juxtapositioning of rhetoric, as this juxtaposition thus indicates the rhetoric of power. One would not be wrong in calling it also a discourse of power, but more so its significance is found in a particular rhetoric that usurps meaning unto itself.
In the same way feminists speak of hegemonic discourse, such as, colonialist discourse, or as Paulo Freire might call the discourse of oppression, Laruelle’s proposition is based in the notion that there is a manner of speaking that appears on the scene as reality, as if it is indicating a true reality, but that it really is indicating mere one particular reality. By his non- philosophy, he is saying that this particular rhetoric is the only way of speaking that can be used, but that indeed, it is being used (by non-philosophy) in the attempt to convey another reality: one that is not subject to the rhetoric in power, but one that has no other rhetoric to use for its conveyance.