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The Perversion of Subjectivity

The Perversion of Subjectivity

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Published by Andrew Glynn
A look at the replacement of Eros by Thanatos in subjectivity, and the resulting history of Christianity and Capitalism.
A look at the replacement of Eros by Thanatos in subjectivity, and the resulting history of Christianity and Capitalism.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Andrew Glynn on Apr 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Perversion of Subjectivity


1 The situation for the sciences has changed radically in a post-metaphysical world. Physics is no longer a reality behind or beyond worldly appearances. Discussion of a post-modern quantum cosmology cannot be construed as a description of some reality "beyond" phenomenological experience but a useful approximation of those appearances. Genetic investigation can no longer be seen as a predictive methodology for envisioning the adult organism, but as raw material for the organism to dynamically configure and reconfigure itself. Neurology is the study of how the psyche utilizes the mechanisms at its disposal. As a result phenomenology comes to the fore as the arbiter of reality beyond religious or scientific metaphysics. The hermeneutical method first used, however, suffers from a fateful reliance on belief. As one thinks hermeneutically, moving from part to whole to part and understanding each more fully from the other, beliefs or belief-systems are the means by which one traverses the gap. The gap itself comes about through representing beings as static organizations of parts. Relative knowing is the knowing, itself dependent on ideology, that "relates" part and whole through belief. Absolute knowing on the other hand abandons this static representation and thinks the dynamic system in its functioning dynamism, where the relations themselves become ontologically primary, dynamically creating the always-changing yet self-same whole. The "all-at-onceness" of epiphany or revelation reflexively occurs within the understanding itself. Understanding-understanding dynamizes the emergent phenomena of an epiphany into an emergent system of the psyche itself. To those who can "see", as Nietzsche points out, belief is no longer relevant. This knowing is, as Hegel saw, qualitatively absolute. Self-conscious metaphysical knowledge knows itself as the I-subject, which it distinguishes from the "objective" world. The "objective" world includes all the contents of consciousness, including consciousness itself. Reflexive, ethical self-consciousness

2 can even observe the operations of this I-subject. Understanding understanding retains awareness of the I-subject, consciousness and things-within-the-world in their unity, dispensing with the relations that self-consciousness set up, and is thereby qualitatively absolute. At the same time, absolute knowing, removing itself from the knowing that has gravitated to abstract explanation and retiring back into understanding, abandons any possibility of being total. Withdrawing from the totalizing logic of techne and explanation and returning to the logos of significance and context is not a knowing at all in the technical sense. Renewing the absolute loss of comprehension of beings’ ability to appear as the beings they are transgresses any grounding we may have attempted to provide through our technical abilities, and within this transgressing of horizon, horizon itself becomes erotic. The grounding available is only the abyssal grounding of the absolutely indeterminable that draws towards. This crossing from technical knowing to erotic understanding is the experience of enowning itself, which recoils, at least in fantasy, into erotic enslavement of another. Ownership of another Self was seen as the primally erotic by Plato in the Phaedrus and Symposium at the beginning of metaphysics but lost in the swapping of the erotic horizon for the thanatic, particularly in Christianity, which from the beginning betrayed the erotic experience of life as love in its focus on death. Owned by the awe and eros of the appearing of beings from the negativity of the future, the not yet, the Self is not primarily drawn towards death except in the perverse replacement of Eros by Thanatos, the replacement of love by totalizing hatred and resentment in Saul/Paul. Instead it is drawn to the eroticism of what transgresses horizon and in transgression enables the topology of erotic fantasy. The erotic is what draws towards and makes us futural, as such it is negative as pure indeterminateness. The thanatic being-

3 towards-death is indeterminate as to its when but not as to its what, and so remains an attempt at overdetermination. The root of what Hegel calls “negativity” is (our awareness of) future: future is what is not (yet), the power of negativity is ultimately identical to the power of time itself, this force that corrodes every firm identity. The proper temporality of a human being is thus not that of the linear time, but that of engaged existence: a man projects his future and then actualizes it by way of a detour through past resources. Hegel versus Heidegger - EFlux The I-Subject arises as a calculating determination of the future in lieu of the uncanny indeterminable negativity of the erotic. In thanatic desire what is worthy is perverted to what is valued and priced and therefore exchangeable in an unlimited, totalizing way. As desire it is desire for the determinate in its totality, unlimited in scope. It desires possession of the ’whole’ that is always fictional, since some part always remains outstanding, insofar as the Self exists. The most extreme perversion of the erotic to the thanatic is the pricing, valuing almost to the millisecond of what is precisely worthless, because we can have no real involvement with it. This ultimate perversion is the desire for money itself as Capital. Its corresponding thanatic fantasy is the frictionless economy, where nothing of any worth is produced but only more worthless value as more Capital.

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