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Ally Blake The Rules Of Engagement Epub To Mobi


Ultimately, organic knowledge is mobilized insight that seeks to know nature within nature, not to abandon analysis for mysticism or dialectic for intuition. Our own thinking is itself a natural process, albeit deeply conditioned by society and richly textured by social evolution. Our capacity to bring thought into resonance with its organic history (its evolution from the highly reactive organic molecules that form the fundament for the sensitivity of more complex ones, the extravagant cloudburst of life-forms that follows, and the evolution of the nervous system) is part of the knowledge of "knowing" that provides thought with an organic integument as real as the intellectual tools we acquire from society. More than intuition and faith, thought is literally as real as birth and death, when we first begin to know and when we finally cease to know. Hence nature abides in epistemology as surely as a parent abides in its child. What often is mistakenly dismissed as the intuitive phase of knowledge is the truth that our animality gives to our humanity and our embryo stage of development to our adulthood. When we finally divorce these depth phases of our being and thinking from our bodies and our minds, we have done worse than narrow our epistemological claims to Kantian judgements based on a harsh dualism between thought and nature; we have divided our intellects from ourselves, our state of mind from the development of our bodies, our insight from our hindsight, and our understanding from its ancient memories.




Ally Blake The Rules Of Engagement Epub To Mobi


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Domination, hierarchy, and the subordination of woman to man now begin to emerge. But it is difficult to delineate in this development the emergence of organized economic classes and the systematic exploitation of a dominated social stratum. The young, to be sure, are placed under the rule of a clan or tribal gerontocracy; the elders, shamans, and warrior chiefs, in turn, acquire distinct social privileges. But so ingrained in society are the primordial rules of usufruct, complementarity and the irreducible minimum that the economy of this early world proves to be surprisingly impervious to these sociopolitical changes. "The majority of aboriginal tribes," observes Radin, "possessed no grouping of individuals based on true class distinctions." He adds that "Slaves not a few of them had, but, while their lives were insecure because they had no status, they were never systematically forced to do menial work or regarded as an inferior and degraded class in our sense of the term." Men of wealth there were, too, in time, but as Manning Nash observes, "in primitive and peasant economies leveling mechanisms play a crucial role in inhibiting aggrandizement by individuals or by special groups." These leveling mechanisms assume a variety of forms:


But the story of this betrayal does not end with these institutional and subjective changes. It reaches further into the core of the psyche by internalizing hierarchy and domination as eternal traits of human nature. More than Yahweh's will and classical antiquity's rationality are needed to secure rule as an integral feature of selfhood. This feature entails not only humanity's commitment to its own self-repression through faith and reason; it must also police itself internally by acquiring a self-regulating "reality principle" (to use Freud's terms) based on guilt and renunciation. Only then can the ruled be brought into full complicity with their oppression and exploitation, forging within themselves the State that commands more by the power of the "inner voice" of repentance than the power of mobilized physical violence.


To render this ideological development more clearly, let us return to certain assumptions that are built into psychoanalytic categories and see how well they hold up anthropologically. When speaking of organic societies, is it meaningful to say that social life creates a repressive "reality principle"? That the need for productive activity requires the deferral of immediate satisfaction and pleasure? That play must give way to work and complete freedom to social restrictions that make for security? Or, in more fundamental terms, that renunciation is an inherent feature of societal life and guilt is the constraint that society instills in the individual to prevent the transgression of its rules and mores?


Accordingly, organic societies do not make the moral judgments we continually generate against transgressions of our social rules. In the preliterate world, cultures are normally concerned with the objective effects of a crime and whether they are suitably rectified, not with its subjective status on a scale of right and wrong. "Viewed from certain African data, a crime is always a wrong done to society which has been detected," notes Paul Radin. "A wrong committed in full knowledge that it was such but which has not been detected is simply a fact that has no social consequences." While there may be a "spiritual" dimension to a "wrongdoer's state of mind," there is "no feeling of sin in the Hebrew Christian meaning of the term." All that society asks of the wrongdoer is that he or she merely recognize that an offense has been committed against the harmony of the community. If the offense is redressed, no stigma is attached to the action. "This serves, as a matter of fact, as the best and most effective deterrent to wrongdoing," Radin emphasizes with characteristic utilitarian fervor. He goes on to note that when a Bantu was asked whether he was penitent at the time he committed a certain crime and the native answered, "No, it had not been found out then," there was no cynicism implied nor was this a sign of moral depravity. No disturbance in the harmony of the communal life had occurred.


But Augustine not only provides us with the first notion of a political utopia; he emphatically denigrates political authority. To be sure, early Christianity had always viewed political entanglements as tainted. Like the Stoics before them, the Church fathers of the late Roman world articulated the individual's feelings of increasing separation from all levels of political power and social control. Gone were the popular assemblies of the polis, the hoplites or militias of citizen-farmers, the citizen-amateurs chosen by lot to administer the day-to-day affairs of the community. The Roman republic and, more markedly, the empire had long replaced them with senatorial and imperial rulers, professional armies, and an elaborate, far-flung bureaucracy. For Stoicism and Christianity to preach a gospel of abstinence from political activism merely expressed in spiritual and ethical terms a situation that had become firmly established as fact. It neither challenged the political order of the time nor acquiesced to it, but merely acknowledged existing realities.


But Marx was stating a fact about parties in general that, after the French Revolution, had already ceased to be a novelty. The modern State could more properly be called a "party-state" than a "nation-state." Organized from the top downward with a bureaucratic infrastructure fleshed out by a membership, the Party possesses an institutional flexibility that is much greater than that of the official State. Structurally, its repertory of forms ranges from the loosely constructed republic to highly totalitarian regimes. As a source of institutional innovation, the Party can be sculpted and molded to produce organizational, authoritarian forms with an ease that any State official would envy. And once in power, the Party can make these forms part of the political machinery itself. Our own era has given the Party an autonomy unequaled by any State institution, from the ancient pharaohs to the modern republics. As the history of Russian Bolshevism and German fascism dramatically demonstrated, parties have shaped European states more readily than states have shaped their parties.


The term was to stick and to acquire an ever-richer meaning on the margins of European and American society. Both Thomas Paine and Jefferson drew conclusions somewhat similar to those of Varlet from the quasidictatorship of the Jacobins and its Bonapartist sequelae. Even more significant than Paine's derogatory remarks about government were the essentially reconstructive confederal notions that Jefferson advanced to Destutt de Tracy in 1811. Concerned with the need for relatively federalist institutional forms at the base of society, Jefferson astutely diagnosed the reasons why republican France so easily slipped into imperial France with Napoleon's coup d'etat:


The republican government of France was lost without a struggle because the party of "un et indivisible" had prevailed. No provincial [and one could easily add, local] organizations existed to which the people might rally under the laws, the seats of the Directory were virtually vacant, and a small force sufficed to turn the legislature out of their chamber, and salute its leader chief of the nation.


Doubtless, climatic and geographic factors helped sculpt the structure developed by the two systems of association. A highly forested area would tend to yield looser political units than would fairly open geographic areas, where visibility between communities was high. The variegated physiography of the Andes, from the lush Amazon valley to the virtually barren Pacific slopes, would have placed a high premium on mobilized labor, a pooling of resources from different ecosystems, and a more secure and diversified redistribution of goods. But the very mountainous terrain that fostered decentralization among the Greek poleis did not seem to inhibit centralization among the Inca, and the temperate forest land that fostered a hierarchical society in medieval Europe did not obstruct the superb elaboration of an egalitarian democracy in pre-Columbian America.


From the New World to the Old, the stupendous elaboration of centralized states and the proliferation of courts, nobles, priesthoods, and military elites was supported by a highly parasitic institutional technology of domination composed of armies, bureaucrats, tax farmers, juridical agencies and a septic, often brutal belief system based on sacrifice and self-abnegation. Without this political technology, the mobilization of labor, the collection of vast material surpluses, and the deployment of a surprisingly simple "tool-kit" for monumental technical tasks would have been inconceivable. Beyond the responsibility of massing huge numbers of human beings into regimented tasks, this system had three essential goals: to intensify the labor process, to abstract it, and to objectify it. A carefully planned effort was undertaken to piece work together so that the State could extract every bit of labor from the "masses," reduce labor to undifferentiated labor-time, and transmute human beings into mere instruments of production. Historically, this unholy trinity of intensification, abstraction, and objectification weighed more heavily on humanity as a malignant verdict of social development than did theology's myth of original sin. No "revolution" in tools and machines was needed to produce this affliction. It stemmed primarily from the elaboration of hierarchy into crystallized warrior elites, and from the genesis of an institutional technics of administration largely embodied in the State, particularly in the bureaucracy that managed the economy. Later, this technics of administration was to acquire a highly industrial character and find its most striking expression in the modern factory system.


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