Proposition One: Philosophy of a Voice
An intelligence is more like a voice than like a face, shaped through time rather then in space. Objects which are shaped and extended in space, and as such have an appearance, can display their image, a distinct force of presence, in a flash. Without an appearance, intelligence has to intentionally construct itself by exercising agency through a lifetime. The shape that a voice inscribes through time has to be assembled from memory by other intelligences. It exists nowhere in nature since nature is limited to the timeless actuality of the instant. Since intelligence has no flash-image as a bounded, continuous, and exclusive entity, it is vulnerable to acute self-uncertainty within a world of things which have appearances. Ever since the ancient Greek sage Heraclitus of Ephesus, who is famously quoted as saying of his thinking “I have searched myself”, a recurring intent in the personal use of thinking has been discovery of, or encounter with, the self-who-has-no-appearance, subjective questioning and intent in-the-blind-spot of day to day activity. When Heraclitus went searching within himself he found a river which was always different from one moment to the next. A river is a force and a voice.
Proposition Two: Politics and the status quo ante bellum
The private international banking system failed in 2007-08, and in failure was revealed as viciously addicted to ‘investment’ gambling, deeply fraudulent, and alarmingly immune from accountability of any kind. (The Occupy Wall Street Movement of 2011 marked widespread outrage at these revelations.)
In the wake of that failure (the metaphorical bellum of the title), current political agendas divide into two categories: 1) business as usual, with a little tinkering and tweaking to restore the 2007 status quo ante bellum, and 2) radical change offers the only hope of controlling the value-sucking gambling addiction, fraud, and criminal immunity which have created extreme social inequality. The media divide along similar lines, with the large-scale advertising and entertainment media covering events from the point of view of investors and financial markets who dream of having the pre-2007 world returned to them; but with internet media frequently interpreting events from the point of view of the victims of investors, banks, and financial markets. This division illuminates something else.
A vast class war was exposed by the failure of the banking system. Study after study has detailed the disproportionate and illegitimate political and media control practiced by organized wealth, of which the banking system is an important part. The radical enrichment of a tiny minority achieved by the policy reforms of Ronald Reagan (US President 1980-88), Margaret Thatcher (United Kingdom Prime Minister 1979-90), and their followers, enabled organized wealth to fund political parties, ideological lobbyists, and mass communications enough to gain effective control of taxes, laws, administration of justice, environmental exploitation, and wars, the faculties of sovereignty. Organized wealth has repeatedly used war both to drive pervasive social control and as a private money spinner in support of its own power. War is the ultimate destroyer of broadly distributed agency, self-possession, and personal freedom.
Can The Personal Use of Thinking Make Any Difference?
The self-uncertainty that is perfectly normal for an entity that has no appearance can be exploited by bullies, the greedy, political adventurers, as well as by enthusiastic people absorbed within supra-individual collectives, to sell their version of false self-certainty. They will give out money, things to do, special clothes, hats, badges, names, marks of rank and position, to convince you that you are something definite: tinker, taylor, soldier, beggar man, on a hierarchy of inequality. Distracted from personal agency, people can be quite willing to accept those role-play characters assigned from a script made by outside interests, instead of self-inventing avatars in their personal creative process. That is how we are persuaded to submit to wars and to be silent about collective crimes.
An attachment to practicing freedom through a personal creative process does reduce vulnerability to that kind of psychological manipulation. The subjective river of intelligence is a power for self-agency in uttering a voice through day to day life.
Copyright © 2012 Sandy MacDonald. The moral right of the author is asserted.