Following Elman Service and a growing consensus in political anthropology, I have identified (or at least, connected) the state and civilization, feeling justified by historical and structural evidence. A long tradition of anti-civilization thinkers, largely within anarchist theoretical orientations have done the same. But this is only a stand. It is an easily justified position from an empirical and rationalist perspective which nevertheless goes against the grain of colloquial thinking, even (and perhaps especially) within Marxist as well as anarchist traditions. What results is largely a battle over semantics, or what I've elsewhere described as a divergence between our dictionaries. I believe a re-examination of Maslow's concept of self-actualization might help defuse the dispute over colloquial uses of the terms "progress" and "civilization" and resolve some of the seeming hypocrisy comparing our notions.
In The State: Its Historic Role, Kropotkin follows a colloquial usage distinguishing the state from civilization, even to the point that it is the state itself which produces decadence to civilization. In this etymology, the latter is synonymous with what anthropologists, particularly in the american "tradition", call "culture" and this, in fact, makes most of civilization's proponents among radicals rationally and empirically coherent.
Of course, even its proponents have always thought civilisation a bad starting point. Colloquially, progress is not equated with evolutionary processes so much as follows the sense "It's just got to get better than this!": more opportunity, looser constraints, less poverty, more justice. Every defense must be qualified with "If only..." or call on necessity, the pessimistic "no alternative".
Maslow's theory of self-actualization, based on Kurt Goldstein's ideas of gestalt organism over isolated mechanism (which also influenced Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory), applies to individual motivational psychology. It refers to the potential for possibilities, even probabilities to become realities. Somewhat encumbered by progressive thinking, he goes on to posit stages. This is not necessary except from within a materialist, structural framework: for any potential to be realized, certain environmental conditions must be in effect. One cannot build a steam engine in a kiln designed to turn out clay pots. Progress need not be invoked at all except in terms of a sequence of steps or sequences in the process, and their elucidation is usually a matter of historical reconstruction (a posteriori) rather than a teleological futurology. In other words, while conditions are required for certain resultants, they do not necessitate or predict their emergence.
That there may be an intended goal does not discount the fact that innovations are contigent on existing and historical conditions the environmental context. Self-actualization, on the other hand, is not a project like a technological invention. It is the ability to actualize ones imagination only possible in an unhindered, or alternatively, facilitating environment. While mimicry, innovation and experimentation are essential, it does not produce a product. It produces living. The endpoint in life is death, and that is a project few willingly entertain. If the goal of life is considered akin to any goal-directed behavior, that is, its completion, suicide would be the most logical option. Fueled by functionalism and Hegelian dialectics, it may be this absurd question of purpose which led Freud to posit the death instinct to explain behavior which cannot be explained in the context of a drive toward pleasure.
According to Kurt Goldstein's book The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man, self-actualization is "the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, [the organism's] individual capacities" in the world. The tendency to self-actualization is "the only drive by which the life of an organism is determined." Goldstein defined self-actualization as a driving life force that will ultimately lead to maximizing one's abilities and determine the path of one's life. wikipedia
Not to invoke a "natural hedonism" or the argument of "selfish genes", the idea of actualization might also be attributed to cultures. Self-actualized cultures are typically described as experiencing a "golden age" or "classical epoch". They are eulogized as prime examples of civilization at its peak. At a gut level, we associate this with "freedom". This is a good intuition, since it takes a certain degree of freedom to meet any desire. It makes horse sense.
Kropotkin pointed out the fact that most of what we consider the greatest achievements of european civilization came from a period which, in fact, had no state or rule of law, the period we call "medieval" and "dark". He pointed out that the so-called "dark age" is the result of historical revisionism: darkness didn't begin to fall until state bureaucracies began to meddle in everyone's affairs and existing chiefdoms federated in the same fashion by which tribes network bands through affinal relations overlaying the consanguineal, producing transgeographical or extralocal social relations. With the military aid of the church and an aristocracy which traced its heritage to the Roman and Byzantine empires, "noble chiefs" asserted their own priority over the networking "guilds", repositioning craftsmen and kin into government bureaucrats and workers, necessary to the industrialization which was to come and quite unbeknownst to any involved.
Maslow's interpretation of self-actualisation can be summed up with this quote: "intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately of what is the organism itself ... self-actualization is growth motivated rather than deficiency motivated". Obviously then, we are talking about a desire for freedom (unencumbered living) as well as Heidegger's "openness to being". We are speaking of "coming into its own" rather than "overcoming the other".
It is interpreted as sitting atop a hierarchy of needs and inserted into a progressive framework, but as Maslow explained, it is less an hierarchic stage than an appreciation that it cannot be expressed unless more immediate needs are fulfilled. He called these "lower order needs". Self-actualisation thought of as realisation of possibility points out to us the obvious fact that there is no progress or predetermination (stage theory) involved whatsoever beyond the analogy of a bud becoming a blossom. That forced labour camps (slave plantations, capitalist run factories) minimally provide for basic needs, specifically inhibits self-actualisation through their own necessarily imposed constraints. Self-actualisation addresses what's on all our minds: the difference between survival and life, between a forever-constrained, "naughty" child and something which grows in a thriving environment.
Thus, we tend to think of civilisation (the social infrastructure) supplying lower order needs without seeing how it does this through constraint, as if civilisation is somehow isolated from the state (government), that eliminating the latter will allow the former. Kropotkin's portrayal of early medieval life paints just such a picture. It is the peasant manorialism and cross-cutting artisan/craft guilds Kropotkin described sans feudal meddlement which provides the basic structure for ideas of anarcho-syndicalism as well as council communism during the twentieth century.
Strictly speaking, however, the state is only an abstraction from civilisation or an index (state socio-political integration) to it. There has never occurred one without the other. To take a stand against civilisation and its progress (also an a priori singularity) is not the same as one against society itself or actualisation in mass.
"Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta" is the Zoroastrian motto, the theory put into practice by Job before the ever-meddling judaic god and christian satan wagered on his fall from his path. It means something like "good thoughts, good words, good deeds".
The aesthetic sense is that which, following the logic of Asger Jorn, culminates in arousal. Disregarding the notion of value (quantified morality) and its consequences to meaning, we are left with an identity (or commensurability of pattern) between truth (or "the good") and bullshit experienced as states of arousal (interest) variably leaning toward such "subjective" feelings as disgust or euphoria. This would explain the colloquialism that the brain does not process negatives, that memory does not occur as negative assessments. Interpreted within use-value, revulsion is restated as a positive: "I hate pineapple" is a positive statement of the inversion of "use" ("I have no use for it!"). Perhaps a more relevant example? Unless one already has "positive" anarchist leanings, the negation implied by "Anarchy" carries little meaning; its semantic context is colloquially thought absurd. This colloquial negation of the negation establishes the position: "Anarchy sucks!" "Don't rock the boat!" "Stop with the negative waves, Moriarity!" "Think positive and you'll get positive results". Reform movements always command the most followers, even when this "positive" is logically positioned as support for the negation of self-actualisation. Reform becomes a logical absurdity.
The value, "hate", is meaningful only in terms of action: conscious avoidance or destruction. One does not negate pineapple, only one's relationship to it. The behavioral subsequent, avoidance, is no longer seen in terms of negation, but positive action. An authentic distaste must of course, be initiated by trial (or experience), otherwise it is only a matter of persuasion or propaganda. Very small children have no fear of the unknown, which is merely unexperienced context. They will taste everything. Fear and rejection of the unknown, of the unexperienced is an overreaction to an overwhelmingly distasteful environment or is imprinted by means of the imposed scarcity of the novel the overwhelmingly boring environmental field. The one thing infants do fear is isolation, translated as darkness or social alienation. Chickens are a bit more fortunate: when the lights go out, so do they. Should I write a letter to my congressman?
Each congressman has two ends: a sitting and a thinking end.
And since his whole career depends upon his seat,
Why bother, friend? Chad Mitchel Trio
Purist revolutionaries who call for a total negation of capitalism or even the negation of the totality of existing conditions, who call all other approaches "half-baked measures", are on a fool's quest. All measures are half baked a potato left too long in the fire becomes inedible charcoal. The totality is unapproachable. One can only change the conditions of existence within one's own field of experience and hope for mimesis or reiteration by others beyond the event's horizon. Our thoughts are ever toward extralocal networks, but still under the influence of Aristotle's "Greater Good" philosophy of the state. In the process we lose sight of the locality, of the self. Unfortunately, our motto remains "Sacrifice!"
There is no negation, only a change in probability or frequency of distribution, a change in the more immediate conditions of living. A bird does not negate gravity, yet a bird still flies. In the same way, defiance does not negate tyranny, only its local pull.
Tyre was the name of the central administrative city in the Levant once the Phoenician "trade network" (a maritime potlatch culture extending throughout the Mediteranian) became politicized (or "civilized"). Once pejoratively describing "bottom-up" rule (Romans called it "mob rule"), tyranny is now a synonym for the centralized state. Tyranny is always possible and is reborn from immediate social relations. Uncivil (that is, "primitive") institutions, as has been said before, function to keep it at bay.
The civil protest this distinction with "rules of formal etiquette" the moral code lived. The shared etymology of civil (< Latin) and political (< Greek) suggests an identity with cities, but the more reasonable intuition suggests it is the complexity of social relations within (and between) cities which produces tyranny, not the architecture. In the Mediteranian, a potlatch culture transformed into a pirate culture with centralised ports responding to state expansion from the Nile and the "Fertile Crescent". Tyranny is merely the enforced meddling on a mass scale, of some into and over the affairs of others. Most today, on the other hand, regard civilisation as the collective means for making the most of a bad condition. In this view, civilisation is always an accomodation to tyranny.
To sum up, a negative position (refusal) is actually a positive affirmation. Flight and militant attack can be seen as related, and without irony, "negation" is always a positive response, an "action", unless left at the intellectual level (theory without praxis) resignation, acquiescence (labeled "adjustment") or frustration and repression (labeled "neurosis"). Without action, theoretical negation must exist side by side with acquiescence, and we protest, "We've been recuperated!" or "Life is struggle!" One must be on guard to avoid public displays of frustration.
Even a child's temper tantrum is becoming less and less tolerated, more and more medicated. But after a certain age, temper is always suspect and subjects one to long term medication for what was a short term outburst. It is no irony that what was an "intellectual" operation may be experienced as a heightened emotional state, possibly witnessed as disabling euphoria (manic episode) or depressed helplessness by onlookers with a democratically moral (or is that "political"?) bent. Our unquestioned distinction and theoretical isolation of intellect, emotion and action provides the diagnostic criteria for a bipolar episode or a psychotic ("thought disorder") break when referred to the specialists who, informed by scientists working for pharmaceutical companies, tell us our revolution is "directed inward" and hand us a pill and explain "You have a brain-chemistry imbalance which accounts for your troubled thoughts and feelings; you'll probably have to take this medication the rest of your life". Most "symptoms" are currently treated with the same medications. The always fashionable ennui is simply the lack of arousal which antidepressants and antipsychotics provide through the overall inhibition of the "central nervous system", accentuating the effects which post-modern architecture and hospital-sterility in the physical (uninteresting) environment have on those less prone to experience a "break".
Outside of potentially dangerous metabolic changes, the major side effect of antipsychotics (especially when combined with SSRI antidepressants) appears as forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and lethargy (even more ironically, these are symptoms of depression!), but that is only a matter of a general interference with processing and lowered states of arousal. Obviously beneficial when one is experiencing an acute state of subjective terror, the prolonged use is an exercise in chronic brutality. The prescription for health becomes proscriptive of life, making constraint appear the most natural condition for living. Through "liberal social progress" and "improvements" in neurochemistry, prisons will become a thing of the past. So we are told.
This is how Aldous Huxley's soma works, by providing a simulacrum of pleasure. This kind of 'pleasure' can never lead to euphoria except in the religiously devout resigned to the simple world of immediate appearances. For most, medication is not required, but this has been changing in the last few decades. While the current period might not be seen as one of social unrest, even less so of "social upheaval", there is little doubt that it is a period of increasing "social unease". The voluntary "patient" on medication experiences "improvement" largely because the original symptoms or complaint are forgotten or subsumed beneath conscious contemplation. Like the news media, a treatment's success is evaluated according to the degree of amnesia it induces, the possibilities it suppresses.
The self-fulfilling prophesy of psychopharmacology follows closely the broader penal logic: If one is incapable of self-control, self-censorship, constraint by other forces produces contentment for one and all. Is it ironic that the proponents of civilisation point to "improvements" in medicine as the most obvious justification for their progressive stand? Progressive medicine is the commodification of ever more efficient biocides (toxins) and system (circulatory, endocrine, metabolic) disruptors.
Both sensory deprivation and information overload can have a similar effect on the "mentally healthy". The inhibition of the aesthetic sense (itself allowing the emergence of "the bullshit detector") may be pharmacologically enhanced, but essentially recapitulates (as in pattern matching) the effects democratic (moral) mass society have on malleability or gullibility on a large scale, often confused with mimesis or even trust. I say "confused" but that is far too gentle a term to describe a process which denies personal experimentation and induction which not only reveal possibilities, but fuel personal choice. It is the negation of a questioning attitude itself and necessary to maintain the status quo. Beyond the statistical measure of central tendency, the estimation of probability, the standard becomes a moral prescription in a competitive environment. Recognition of the novel or different, its consideration or evaluation and finally choice are all constrained. "The more things change, the more they stay the same!" This is the nature of progress.
I think Maslow missed one antecedent condition for self-actualization: environmental stimulation! Everything about our culture seeks to eliminate that condition, to call it "environmental constraint which produces struggle". Why should we persist in thinking that influence and constraint are the same beast? Communism favours mutual influence. Anarchy decries constraint. There is no contradiction, only the expression of two sides of a collectively imagined possibility.
Wouldn't all this make "the poetic" a discourse on "the possible" which, mistakenly translated as "mysticism", displays a rather "appropriate scientific attitude"? Is the peer-reviewed article in a technical journal rife with mathematical illustrations and esoteric statistics experienced by the colloquial non-specialist as any less a display of gibberish than the schizophrenic speech is to the psychiatric specialist or Language Poetry is to the English professor specializing in Victorian era texts and calling the latter "poetry par excell้nt", the standard by which all else must be compared, to which all else must conform?
Forever hung up in our own dictionaries, the history of radical movements illustrates the politics (or dialectics) of struggle. Where radical subjectivity might be rephrased with the motto, "Express yourself", even this is politicized since there are vast social forces which (actually, who) would suppress all expression but the commonplace and predictable. This is the force of democracy, which turns the would-be expressionist into a militant (unless the expression is sold on the market, in which case the militant is now called "artist").
Politics always involves struggle. Resistance to the field effects of "mass" is to face accusations of "bourgeois individualism" or "avant gardism" when among friends. Politics requires one to make a stand, and militancy itself is, by definition, provocative. The revolutionary who seeks a unified assault must always be discouraged as democratization will always lead either to fission or "sacrifice for the greater good", the counter-productive expenditure of all fusion reactions.
Is it only me who sees a contradiction between sacrifice and actualisation? No matter how much it is imagined or desired, unity is never witnessed outside of virtual reality, and there is little which is "virtual" in that place, a place where reality itself is artificially constrained. The power maintained within "mass struggle", the idea of "power in numbers" allows power itself to metastasize within the group and express itself as power points, internal conflict, power relations between "comrades". The militant and activist are the same entity. If the stand is for self-actualization, social actualisation, the realization of imagined possibilities, we should all have such aspirations. Most do, if only secretly. This is not "bourgeois individualism" or "self-indulgent purism", just as a mutual (that is, "social") relation is not a power relation, despite its potential for energetic effects the realisation of possibilities.
In fact, the individual/social schism need not even be entertained. The human beast is a social animal and is not actualised in isolation. We've only been "socialized" to perceive society and democracy as the same thing. Democracy is always the mechanism for some to make decisions for others, who must then accommodate to the mandates of the group, whether that democratic process is representative or universally participatory.
In all of nature, unifying forces such as gravity (in physics, a near synonym of mass) is countered by the electric force of diversification, something Gregory Bateson called "schizmogenesis". One could say it is not a dialectical struggle between unity and diversity, attraction and repulsion, but that gravity is only the "force" which keeps diversification from explosion, a big bang in stasis, also known as "death". Gravity has been described as a weak force. Hence, like "love", its effects wane as distance or diversity increases. But like capital, power is not a separate reality, an autonomous entity. It is an effect or non-linear (multilateral) series of effects. At least within the metaphor of gravitational attraction (and unlike capital), energy (potentiality) is a quality of all existence. One might say unity and diversity are the same; one is the equally existing condition for the other, neither antecedent nor anteceded. "It all comes together; it all falls apart" ( Ronald Sukenick). All unities must eventually either collapse, explode or transform: immortality is just another pipe dream. As might be accepted when its synonym, "energy", is evoked, power is patamimetic: it is the expression of that which does not yet exist as well as that which maintains existing conditions. That it is a "potential to do work" is only a narrow, culture-bound functionalism (the utilitarian work ethic), yet energy is certainly always a potential.
If there is a potentiality for constraint (force), there is always likewise potential release. In dialectic terms, patamimesis is the emergent quality of mutual arousal, attraction, interest. In biology, it is autopoietic. It is an iteration without reproduction of identities which provides for local commonality, also known as "organism", "culture", "species". It creates patterns within diversity and is founded upon mutually disposed attraction without disposing of mutual differentiation. Some call it "freedom". Naturalists call it "Law"; politicians (among whom are the theologians or philosophers of the state dogma of "law and order") call it "absurd". Commonality is not a synonym for unity just as solidarity does not necessarily imply agreement to detail!
Collapse is perhaps the prime upshot of the amalgamation of environmental determinism and cultural pessimism in the social sciences. It epitomises a new and burgeoning doctrine expounded largely by disillusioned left-wingers and former Marxist intellectuals. In place of the old creed of class warfare and socio-economic driving forces that used to explain every single development under the sun, environmental determinism essentially applies the same one-sided rigidity to historical events and societal evolution (Peiser, 2003).
As a final point, I would argue that Easter Island is a poor example for a morality tale about environmental degradation. Easter Island's tragic experience is not a metaphor for the entire Earth. The extreme isolation of Rapa Nui is an exception even among islands, and does not constitute the ordinary problems of the human environment interface. Yet in spite of exceptionally challenging conditions, the indigenous population chose to survive - and they did. They tackled the problems of a difficult and challenging environment which both geography and their own actions forced upon them. They successfully adapted to changing circumstances and did not show any signs of terminal decline when they were discovered by Europeans in 1722.
There is no reason to believe that its civilisation could not have adapted and survived (in a modified form) to an environment devoid of large timber. What they could not endure, however, and what most of them did not survive, was something altogether different: the systematic destruction of their society, their people and their culture. [Jarred] Diamond has chosen to close his eyes to the real culprits of Rapa Nui's real collapse and annihilation. As Rainbird (2003) aptly concludes: "Whatever may have happened in the past on Easter Island, whatever they did to their island themselves, it totally pales into insignificance compared to the impact that was going to come through Western contact." Benny Peiser
What Peiser has not considered in his otherwise excellent critique of Jarred Diamond's portentous premises on the collapse of civilization on Easter Island is that, while Easter Island is certainly not the Earth, neither is the Earth an island from which one can escape, nor is it something which can be disregarded beyond "something useful". I seriously doubt that any space-ships will come to our aid when things get tough. The hope for either a political or technological solution to our plight, that is, reliance on the future to solve today's problems, is no advance over the messianic thinking displayed by cargo cults we ridicule as "magical". At any rate, the demise of Rapa Nui's culture is still described as anthropogenic, Diamond's very point clarified.
Whether we call it "civilization", "empire" or "society with a bureaucratic state organization functioning to maximize personal profit for some at the expense of others", it is in our present nature and has been for some time to use up and discard not only the products of our environment, but its inhabitants as well. This much, Peiser has aptly demonstrated. The progressive movement portrayed in our history books suggests at some point, we must use up and discard the environment itself the conditions of our own existence. Globalization of our culture, the grand project to unify mankind, ensures that this will at some point come, if not today, certainly tomorrow. This is no morality tale! It is a discourse on the possible. There will be no "moral of the story" if the conditions of existence are taken out from under us. Like any "prophecy", it is less a matter of future-prediction than turning our attention toward our own present behaviour which is consistent with a possibility we certainly do not desire.
Whether we call it collapse or a minor set-back in the global capitalist economy, there is little doubt that it is our own collective behavior which is causing our current mess, just as surely as the democratic revision of our dictionaries will put no end to any other of our arguments. The frigid North Atlantic paid no heed to the sink-or-swim, survival-of-the-fittest and classist attitudes of the upper crust of the Titanic's residents: there were no survivors but for the efforts of mutual aid. The greatest plans of conscious agency to master the sea culminated in the Titanic. The simplest acts of human instinct procured the possibility of life for its survivors. Peiser's declaration of the Easter Islander's "choice to survive" is no revelation nor a proclamation of "indomitable human spirit". Those who choose the only alternative given commit suicide! Or they fight back for something other than mere "survival" in despicable conditions.
Like the proverbial "stupid question", there is no metaphor unsuitable to our investigations. Metaphors point us to possible connections within the expanses of the interregnal unknown. Null or not, this is the function of all hypotheses. It is not curiosity which kills cats, but arrogance. Few would contend the idea that a 'bullshit detector' is aroused when we are confronted by contradiction. Might it also be that this aesthetic, that thing or event which "captures" our attention, is not a recapitulation of a "dialectics of nature", but rather, a hint that there is something fundamentally wrong with our "rational" construction of the world, a hidden error in our traditional processing?
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
It all comes together, it all falls apart.
Progress is only a matter of "keeping up with the present".
Patamimesis: the sublation of pantomime and transgression, where the relation, aufhebung, is the reality, the contradictions on either side, the poles in supposed opposition, the autonomy of "objects" in struggle are only figments of imagination, theoretical constructs, dichotomous phantoms, constraining categorizations. With patamimetic reality, there is no opposition, no immanent struggle, no hypocrisy we are bound to. We agree with Pascal when he deduced that only faith can actualize a phantom menace (or a god). We agree with Kropotkin when he says:
Fine sermons have been preached on the text that those who have should share with those who have not, but he who would act out this principle is speedily informed that these beautiful sentiments are all very well in poetry, but not in practice. "To lie is to degrade and besmirch oneself," we say, and yet all civilized life becomes one huge lie. We accustom ourselves and our children to hypocrisy, to the practice of a double-faced morality. And since the brain is ill at ease among lies, we cheat ourselves with sophistry. Hypocrisy and sophistry become the second nature of the civilized man. KropotkinWithout a heritage of the compete-and-struggle-for-survival ethos, the logic of the slave and master, the antagonism or precarity built into the exchange paradigm, politics itself disappears. Patamimesis is the anarchist-communist ethos. Every child understands it: informed dissent! Dissent first requires a shared language pantomime. Transgression both allows and requires a redirection of pantomime, a shifting of attention to different points of interest, a new aesthetic (one's confrontation with novelty as well as one's novel perspective of the familiar provided by communication). Pantomime is also, therefore, the iteration which provides both renewal as well as the possibility of change. Patamimesis allows for recognition of the difference between security and constraint, choice and compulsion.
Contrary to Hegel's dictum, reflective thought is to be embraced due to its circularity1. What is the Hegelian absolute other than a philosophia perennis?2 The only required universal agreement for sociality is that there is a reality, not that we can know or master it. In line with Bataille and Maturana, since there are no closed systems within the biosphere, renewal is only possible if at some point, the energy required for growth is redirected into reproduction and excess is either given away or exuberantly destroyed. This is the Potlatch. The singular accumulation of energy will always result in explosion. This is the second law of thermodynamics. Without space-travel, the continued growth of immortal beings (sans reproduction) as well as permanent (reproducing) organization expending individual expression necessitates death or at least the limit to its own growth it is a self-negating process. This is (or should be) the first principle of cultural ecology: the biosphere is a finite space containing an infinite number of relations. Imagine the possibilities? You can't!
That two contradictory elements do not destroy one another in the process of sublation3 illustrates only that the contradiction was an illusion in the first place. Dialectic tension is seen only as the result of self-fulfilling prophecy: the necessary and real consequence of an "irrational" construct a political opposition, exchange value, poverty & wealth. I have already suggested that politics itself is an emergent of economic scarcity imposed with the invention of property. This sentence can be easily inverted since politics and economics are only two perspectives of the same set of relations which we habitually miss-gloss "social". This is ultimately why political means towards a social revolution is an absurdity. Politics reproduces politics. The social revolution can only be seen as the re-emergence of sociality superseding politics in statistical distribution. Otherwise, we will have to wait for politics to negate itself. Unfortunately, this path will likely negate ourselves along with it.
"The contradictions of capital point to the abolition, not the realization of the Subject" Moishe Postone.
1: ... as long as one is not constrained inside a box. Reasoning which always leads back to the same categorical assessment is more properly called a "tick" a looping which when made conscious, should be a signal to leave the confines of the box. Dogma reinforces the tick by renaming it "truth". It is in fact, not a kind of reason but a compelled obsession. The "circular reasoning" I would embrace is in fact inductive.since it deflects one's attention outside of boxes to witness the renewal which goes on all around.
2: ... the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being; the thing is immemorial and universal. Rudiments of the perennial philosophy may be found among the traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. Aldous Huxley
3: "Symbiosis" is a beautiful analogy in biology.