Between Necessity and Artifice - THE SOCIAL SYNTHESIS in Political Theory This is the problem of the social syn

-thesis – because the very “possibility” of social life depends on the possibility of intersubjectivity, not merely on the sharing of “moral” values, or on the agreement on established symbols for communication. Perhaps above all else Nietzsche does not understand that human being is a product of sociality, and that social life depends on the possibility of communication, and even of “scientificity” – what Nietzsche calls “the invariant persistence”, “the established convention”, “the obligatory style for everyone”! For it is still not clear how individual Subjects can ever form a “society” without being able to co-ordinate their activities by means of “scientific” values. By breaking down the Subject and also its “causality” – its “agency” – Nietzsche ought to have thrown back the question of the Political to the sphere of “physiological demands” intended in an immanentist phylogenetic sense, not in the ontological sense he pursues with the ontogeny of thought, from the instincts for freedom, to the Will to Power – or better, to its “perspective of the herd”, to its mediation in the relation to other human beings and their instincts giving rise to the “averageness” of consciousness. For the negatives Denken, society is therefore an “ob-ject” (Gegenstand) that stands op-posed to the individual instincts which necessarily pre-date society and the onto-geny of thought. Similarly with Heidegger, society is “facticity”, the “world” into which the Dasein is “thrown”, the “place” (Ort) that makes the Da-sein a Sein that is “there” (da). Nihilism begins with this “contingency” of human being and therefore of all being, and then terminates in a well of despond once it remains mired and entangled in this “valuelessness”, like a petulant child who had been promised an inexistent toy. Values seek “to rationalize” existence, to give it a “purpose” and therefore a “beginning” that is also an “action” initiated by an “agency”, a Subject. The “underlying reality” of life and the world, the sub-iectum, is therefore turned first into an “energy” that is an “agency” that is conscious of its activity – a Subject, an Ego, a Self.

for existence. But wherein lies. a social com-pact and erect a “Commonwealth”? Surely if this decision is “rational” in the state of nature. upon what rests. Hobbes invokes the appetitus for life. then the state of nature could never exist “historically” because human beings would have agreed to a “Common-wealth” or status civilis from time immemorial and certainly before a state of nature could exist? There is a sense in which Hobbes’s State is not a “state by institution”. then. Hegel will follow in Hobbes’s and Leibniz’s steps in erecting his own theory of the origins of society and the State. the “rationality” of this “decision” to reach. (Cf. A. Easily superseding the fallacious jusnaturalist theories of liberal society that flourished from Locke to Mill. the Economic bourgeois society protected and preserved by the Political state.Negri. its foundation or ground (Grund). Hobbes’s schema constitutes the most potent combination of free convention and necessary hypothesis. But the “rationality” of human beings remains yet to be established – and Leibniz formulated it some years after the publication of Hobbes’s Leviathan with “the principle of sufficient reason”.The Hobbesian social contract is founded on the individual’s apprehension of imminent and violent death at the hands of other human aggressors in the state of nature in which “man is a wolf to man” (homo homini lupus) and in which reigns the total civil war of all against all (bellum omnium contra omnes. though basing himself this time on the dialectic of self-consciousness. then Koselleck.) The subiectum of the Hobbesian construction. and therefore what determines the transition from the state of nature to that of civil society under the Sovereign State. is the rationality of preserving existence. to con-vene on. Thus. but a “state by acquisition” – acquired from the beginning of human history. bellum civium). and its rational fear of death – and not just its “violent apprehension” – as the motivations that allow human beings to escape the state of nature so as to enter the civil state. the mediation of Self and Other through the Ob-ject whereby “labour” becomes the material carrier of human emancipation. .

as Leibniz puts it. The entity that thinks is “conscious” of itself. from Greek ergos. to be real. the “unity” of appetitus and perceptio is posited as the only possibility of being (Leibniz). the “subject” of this “initium” (beginning) must be able “to know” the “subject-matter”. an Ego or ego-ity (Ich-heit). of human reality for the simple reason that the “initiator” or “author” (auctor) of the “action” is also able to cogitate (co-agitare. unity is simplicity. Therefore. the ratio of the Subject. the Ich-heit: that is to say. the hypokeimenon. is the principle of sufficient reason. the rock bottom of human and social reality. of the “id-entity” that thinks. This “command” depends in turn on the ability of an individual to force other individuals to ex-ercise (ex-ertion. and therefore acquires an “id-entity”. Already with Hobbes. agere. whence co-agitare) is by itself proof not merely of existence.Both Hobbes and Hegel seek to identify the “corpus”. Simplex sigillum veri. But to be perfect. It is thus that human beings can imagine that “consciousness” or “thinking” (cogitare. the “being” of each individual is measured by his Power. work) their “labour-power” so as to maintain itself in existence and then to . not a composite. a “being” must also be a “unity”. it strives to be. Therefore. a “monad”. All modern social theory begins with two fundamental assumptions about human beings: . all reality is finally sub-ordinated to the Logos. ec-sists because it strives “to come out”.the instinct of self-preservation and the ability to be self-sufficient. Ec-sistence is the ultimate reason for what is. and even Rousseau. but also of the existence of an “agency”. Thus. an Ego. To ec-sist. Whatever exists. to act) on the “motive” of its ex-ertion or execution. the Ego. this Power is dependent on the individual ability “to command” other individuals. a “being” must be perfect. the sub-iectum. For both. “only ‘a being’ can be ‘a being’”! Being is unity. other Bodies and their Powers. simplicity is the seal of truth. Thus. human and social motivations and institutions are subject-matters (sub-iecta) over which human beings claim to have “in-sight” by virtue of the “fact” that “we originate” or “initiate” them. the power of self-preservation and to be self-sufficient against the Power of other in-dividual human beings. for that would beg the question of how “being” could be “many”. the sub-iectum. in a nutshell. because what is has greater reason to be than what does not exist at all: This.

and therefore of the human experience of “time”. . the Economy. the mechanistic “conflict of wills”. These were the philosophical foundations that allowed the homologation of the free convention of the social contract “instituting” the Political with the scientific hypothesis based on the necessity of individual survival and reproduction in the “acquisition” of an “automatic”. Beyond the “free will” of each in-dividual. At the dawn of the rule of the bourgeoisie. Thus. therefore. on the other. self-regulating market Economy.“dismal” because still founded on the value-positing “free will” of in-dividuals who set the prices of resources rendered “scarce” by “competition” with one another. on one side. as work. Hobbes and Hegel invoke the apprehension of death to rationalize and explain the exit of individuals from the state of civil war into that of bourgeois civil society (the Economic) and the State (the Political). It is the “separation” of living labour from the means of production that allows this “quantification” of living labour. Political Economy became the dismal science: . Hobbes had hoped to formalize its rule “scientifically” through the combination of the con-vention of free wills to erect the Political. and the hypothesis of the necessity of their survival from the state of nature into the “equal exchange” of labour-powers and possessions between in-dividuals in the new civil state or Common-wealth. the Hobbesian schema decrees axiomatically the “mechanical and physical necessity” – the conflict of opposing Powers – the natural physical drive of individuals to exercise control over the labour-power of other individuals through the control of their labour-power and of “possessions” that can secure their survival. at the very inception of capitalist industry. And “science”.thrive. Hence. because it derives its “laws” from what it understands to be the “necessity” of this “competition” based on the antagonistic state of nature. as labour-power. And this “command” over the “labour-power” of other individuals can be obtained with one’s own labour-power as well as with one’s “possessions” so long as these can provide the means of sustenance needed by other individuals. ownership of the means of production determines the command of dead objectified labour (possessions) over living labour considered as a “mechanical quantity”.

the homonymous study by Jurgen Habermas in Theorie und Praxis. for its being an “arbitrary substitution” that transforms the real world of the state of nature into an anthropomorphic fable of symbolic exchange.mere con-vention. it is inappropriate to analyse the transition from state of nature to civil society by applying to both “states” the perspective of civil society! It is essential first to subject the perspective of liberal civil society. In other words. He opposes it for its con-venience. into a metaphor of language. the categories of bourgeois civil society themselves. “mechanicism” about the homologation of individual selfinterest or Power and their social synthesis or mediation in the new Common-wealth. science and numbers – into the artificial categories of “truth” and “lie”. psychological if not physical. of individual human beings to the extent that the categories that we employ to con-ceptualise the state of nature and indeed “nature” itself (!) may be themselves the pro-duct of civil society and therefore may be in-applicable to the state of nature! And it is this “transition”.material through “labour” and symbolic through “interaction”.But whereas Hobbes simplistically assumes an axiomatic. Nietzsche is already questioning whether the “categories”. almost Euclidean. (Cf. Hobbes and Hegel and even Schopenhauer assume that the human beings that con-stitute civil society are virtually and essentially the same as those who now live in it – that the transition from the state of nature to civil society does not essentially trans-form the character. Hegel understands that no such mechanical equivalence is possible and that the social syn-thesis must allow for the satisfaction of “human needs” .) Nietzsche instead denounces this “social syn-thesis” for what it is: . the “concepts” that we utilize to com-prehend civil society and the state of nature that preceded it are not fundamentally dis-torted by our very belonging to this civil society. to a thorough critique so that we do not let them unduly “colour” our interpretation and analysis of the “transition”. Yet even as early as 1873 when he dictated the short notes on Uber Wahrheit und Luge. It is incorrect to assume that Nietzsche accepts Hobbes’s . as we saw earlier. that will interest Nietzsche in his mature work.

that is. or memory. Yet he does accept it as mere “hypothesis”. which has little to do with “truth” itself but everything to do with “con-venience” and “utility”. but this time filtered through the conventions of civil society. and therefore they involve the “intellect” only to the extent that it is needed for survival or the satisfaction of needs. Their “necessity”. It is not the “truth” that interests human beings in society. There is therefore a “distancing” of human intuition from its original mimetic state in which “forgetfulness” prevails. and the “historic-scientific” or rational state in which the “forgetfulness of forgetfulness”. through “the perspective of the herd”. . just as much as in the state of nature. as a reductio ad absurdum of the conventions of Christian-bourgeois society and its self-dissolving “ideals”. independently of whether such a “state of nature” ever existed – leading up to the Selbst-Aufhebung of that society and to its nihilism. the “necessity” of the bellum civium. That is why he cheekily suggests “tedium” as a motive leading to the convention of civil society for the sake of “peace”. he takes the Hobbesian hypothesis as the theoretical framework or paradigm for a critique of Christianbourgeois society. by which he means also “artistic mimesis” – are genuine and authentic. Rather. which are purely “conventional”. (Nietzsche looks at civil society in controluce. In this his approach is much closer to Rousseau’s. it is whatever suits their selfish needs and interests. He concedes that in the state of nature all forms of human behaviour – even dissimulation.axiomatic-hypothetical expostulation of “the state of nature” as if it referred to a historical-institutional stage of human being. triumphs and becomes the apex of the ontogeny of thought to occasion the “dis-integration of the instincts [Disgregation der Instinkte]”.) Nietzsche does not accept Hobbes’s hypothesis of the apprehension of death in the state of nature. in the backlight of the hypothetical status naturae. but rather the “illusion of truth”. their “truth” and “science” are utterly fictitious “social masks” worn by individuals to facilitate communication and make the social world “predictable and familiar” the better to satisfy their “need-necessity”. But this is not the case in civil society and the State.

Clearly at this early stage. The very relation of a nerve-stimulus to the produced percept is in itself no necessary one. Nietzsche’s thought is still confined to the Humean skeptical critique. again. anthropomorphic metaphors or metonymies. the “velleitary and arbitrary”. would be perceived and . of mathesis. the problem of why science and logic as specific practices have come about. these “regularities” are mere “conventions”. All that can be established then not “proven” or “explained” but merely “described” . and not even the “direction of scientific and technological practice”. He fails to identify. Consequently. but if the same percept has been reproduced millions of times and has been the inheritance of many successive generations of man. necessary percept and as if that relation between the original nerve-stimulus and the percept produced were a close relation of causality: just as a dream eternally repeated. but rather its very “doing” that responds to “antagonistic values” being presented as “objectivity” or “necessity” or “causality” when in reality it occurs in “conventional experimental circumstances” which supply the problematic. repetition and therefore con-vention (“persistency” [Verharren] and “crystallisation and sclerosis” [Hartund Starr-werden])! Nietzsche is mixing up the arbitrariness of signifiers (semeiotics) with the establishment of science as an activity and of scientific causation as its object – both of which in practice boil down only to regularity and predictability. metaphorical and anthropomorphic assessment of signification and ultimately of physical mathematics. He still fails to see that it is not so much the “predictability” that is a “convention”. and in the end appears each time to all mankind as the result of the same cause. And above all he fails to explain how they could have done so. all-important “nexus”. outside of sheer habit. then it attains finally for man the same importance as if it were the unique. of why they have “triumphed”.are the “regularities” that can be given numerical expression in space and time and be exploited instrumentally by humans. except for his insistence on “persistence” and “crystallization and sclerosis” and then on “utility” and “safety” and eventually “fear” and “internalization”.

so bekommt es endlich für den Menschen dieselbe Bedeutung.judged as though real. durchaus als Wirklichkeit empfunden und beurteilt werden würde. als ob es das einzig notwendige Bild sei und als ob jenes Verhältnis des ursprünglichen Nervenreizes zu dem hergebrachten Bilde ein strenges Kausalitätsverhältnis sei: wie ein Traum. Aber das Hart. (p185) Selbst das Verhältnis eines Nervenreizes zu dem hervorgebrachten Bilde ist an sich kein notwendiges: wenn aber dasselbe Bild millionenmal hervorgebracht und durch viele Menschengeschlechter hindurch vererbt ist. ewig wiederholt.und Starr-Werden einer Metapher verbürgt durchaus nichts für die Notwendigkeit und ausschließliche Berechtigung dieser Metaphe r. ja zuletzt bei der gesamten Menschheit jedesmal infolge desselben Anlasses erscheint. 8888888888888888888888 . But the congelation and coagulation of a metaphor does not at all guarantee the necessity and exclusive justification of that metaphor.

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