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Re: [Sartre] Survival existence versus communications theology and capitalism

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  • Tommy Beavitt
    Hello Richard, Thank you for your unexpected attack on my recently unveiled theory of communicationalism. I say unexpected, because I wasn t prepared for a
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 15, 2002
      Hello Richard,

      Thank you for your unexpected attack on my recently unveiled theory
      of communicationalism. I say unexpected, because I wasn't prepared
      for a defence of the individual human being from the individualist,
      existentialist point of view. Now I come to think about it, it was
      inevitable, as my theory is a defence of corporatist ways of being
      and is an attack on the (consideration of being-for-itself being the
      sole province of the) individual.

      > Dear Readers of Sartre, Camus, and Heidegger theory and those who
      >want to critique their theories. I await as always and not yet for
      >your reply
      >Being in the world is the issue and communications theory even with
      >its advances in technology does nothing more than to serve the
      >interests of theology and capitalism and does little if anything to
      >grasp an understanding of Being. The reader who starts out with
      >Camus, Sartre, and Heidegger who argues Being can be in a sense
      >reducing to communication theory doesn't do a great deal to explain
      >anything.

      What I am not sure about is how you can easily defend the individual.
      I agree that an individual can demonstrate the fact of his or her
      Being by making a free decision to die or kill and I agree that
      communicationalist theories don't remove this basic individual
      freedom. But a corporate entity such as a country, company, a tribe
      or other organisation of matter and energy can also make a free
      decision to kill or die and its constituent individuals must live or
      die with that choice. Why would an individual join the army and
      become a soldier? There is no rational reason for this if we are to
      take the individual human as the only unity to which the epithet
      being-for-itself can be applied.

      Sartre was very careful in Being and Nothingness to avoid language
      that would result in the assumption that being-for-itself had to be
      an individual human being. I have been examining his theory for many
      years now to see whether it can be applied to non- or supra-human
      entities such as corporations or animals and it is my contention that
      it can.

      >The in itself-alone in order to survive can use communication to
      >intimidate the other in a sense of love and not fear. The in
      >itself-alone can adopt not communication and use the terror of
      >action to survive. Theology and Capitalism both appear to be of the
      >theory of communication through negotiation to obtain what it wants
      >and yet both are theories of terror of action to survive. The idea
      >is the in itself-alone for Sartre and Heidegger is to encounter an
      >other for a relation and at the same time to end a relation with an
      >other in the process. At times one already and not yet owns a
      >relation and wants another relation at the same time. There are
      >other mutations. The sense of survival is one living in the relation
      >of the in itself-alone and not communicating to the other accept as
      >exception. The other is complete communication. Perhaps neither of
      >these situations exists for you and yet they might exist for others.
      >It's the ability to end past commitments and obligations and move
      >into the present and enjoy what one finds in the present. Each in
      >the in itself-alone in a relation comes to a point in awareness. I'm
      >doing the best in communicating and the other isn't listening. If
      >the other is listening, they are ignoring my existence. I don't want
      >to commit suicide and I don't want to kill the other. My free choice
      >is to bolt out of the relation. There are other choices. The
      >question is to end one relation and start another. Communication
      >theory fails in the level of increasing concessions and becomes one
      >of not love but real humiliation and degradation to the point it
      >threatens the existence of the in itself alone.

      I am not sure what you mean by the "in itself-alone". Is this one of
      Sartre's more obscure terms? Or is it one of your own? Either way, I
      am not entirely sure what you mean by it although perhaps you are
      using the term repititiously in order to refute my communicationalist
      argument (the self is truly alone?)

      I am trying to read into your above paragraph a criticism of my
      theory but it is resisting my attempts. Are you trying to confine my
      definition of Other as being Significant Other? I agree that the
      Lover is the ultimate manifestation of Other but why does the Lover
      have to be one person? It is our duty to love but as you say, the
      free choice is to bolt out of the relation and start another. What is
      left of the relation that has been bolted from? It is still a
      registration of the unique perspective of the Other/Lover that has
      been left behind.

      >A stranger walking into the situation might argue this is bullshit,
      >as the two of them aren't talking about the same issues. The two in
      >the situation refuse to create and are now lazy. Each takes the
      >survival position of the existence of the in itself-alone and the
      >communication theory offers no solutions. It's hard to decide the
      >individual owning the most prejudice and intolerance. Factors of
      >age, gender, intelligence, wealth, free time, energy, disease,
      >ability to communicate and ability to submit are horizons needing
      >consideration in this communication theory. The number of friends
      >one has to receive support for their position in relation to the
      >other is significant. How much of an Outsider is the other to borrow
      >from Albert Camus is relevant. One in the relation assumes all of
      >the rights and the only right the other has is to say no and bolt
      >from the relation. The communication theory is a relation of master
      >and slave of turning one's fear into love of the master. It's the
      >acceptance of the fact Kenneth Lay of Enron will go free and the
      >employees lost jobs, wealth, income and prospects of employment.
      >It's the highest justification of Capitalism and theology. This
      >isn't a case of rights as Lay owns rights and the employees own none
      >under the constitution of the United States and in the eyes of a
      >living Democracy through their represent in the United States
      >Senate, and house of representatives and the Attorney General and
      >President of the United States.

      I am beginning to interpret this in quite personal terms. Yes, you
      are right, communication theory does participate in the master-slave
      paradigm. That is most interesting. But what is even more
      interesting, to my mind, is the way the master-slave paradigm can be
      inverted. The next time you come across it, why not try fetishising
      it?

      > None of the political system or the justice system has done
      >anything of value to resolve the issue. One in power wonders how
      >revolutions such as Communism exist. One wonders how one can wrap
      >dynamite around one's body and enter a Café and kill others and
      >themselves. Give the people in the United States more Kenneth Lays.
      >Give us more press conferences from donnie, georgie, and connie.
      >There's still an urge to survive. One always and not yet argues he
      >broke the contract and the commitment and this is Israel. The other
      >argues of the exploitation and the suppression and this is
      >Palestine. The communications people always and not yet want the
      >contracts and commitments and these aren't the win win situations
      >for both. In fact, it's a loose and loose situation for both. The
      >reason is we aren't allowing the in itself-alone to discover and
      >unfold itself as existence. We are relying on the other to define.
      >It's a belief, theology has some special progressive nature to
      >understand the in itself-alone than does the in itself-alone. This
      >is the idea of the love of god or the master is more important to
      >the in itself-alone than the free choice of the in itself-alone of
      >existing alone. The integrity the other pro-scribes for the in
      >itself-alone is the inauthentic and doesn't serve the in
      >itself-alone. The integrity allows the other in exploiting and
      >suppressing the other. This is the communication of the absence of
      >fear is now love. The in itself-alone is now object and it's Being
      >is now fixed. It means how I present myself to the other in
      >communication determines my survival. If I don't bullshit as well as
      >the other, I will become only commodity labor power.

      I am looking forward to discovering what it is you mean by the in
      itself-alone. But it seems that you are seeing the other as fixed,
      singular, when I am using the term to mean any example of the
      plurality of Other. The Other is opposite to Self but there are many
      lines of opposition within many different dimensions simultaneously.
      The Whole which I have defined as "that towards which the mapping of
      perspective of Self relative to perspective of Other tends" is fixed
      and singular though our knowledge of It can only be seen in terms of
      a tendency and never ultimate knowledge. Are you confusing the Other
      with the Whole by assuming that this Other (the Lover) is singularly
      representative of the Whole? But it would take many different Others,
      each with its own for-itself perspective, to begin to reveal the
      Whole.

      >The other determines my whole Being until I say no and bolt out of
      >the relation. The only option left to me is terrorism, murder, and
      >revolution as I'm too proud to commit suicide. This is why georgie
      >always and not yet appeals to theology and for the in itself-alone
      >to maintain a commitment to God and capitalism. The communication
      >theory rests on one has all the rights and the other owns all of the
      >responsibilities. The in itself-alone now exhausts itself in
      >commodity labor power to serve the state. Service is now more
      >important than existence. Love is service and not sex and orgasm.
      >Communication is now silence and one lives in a constant expectation
      >of anticipating the service needs of those in power. The freedom of
      >the in itself-alone is now only to choose which tool to do work. The
      >nourishment and cherishment of a sense of the care and concern of
      >the in itself-alone to itself is now gone and it lives only for the
      >other. The awareness of itself is now gone. It's sees love in this
      >new communication and gives up freedom. It's survival depends on the
      >masters of capitalism and theology and as the in itself alone ages
      >and acquires disease its existence is a moot point. The awareness
      >here is the ability to view itself as distinct and also a possible
      >whole. This sense of freedom becomes one of laziness and one doesn't
      >fight for it. The encountering of the other is the attempt the in
      >itself-alone chooses to beat the game of survival of the fittest.
      >The desire is to create the whole. The distinction of the in
      >itself-alone now moves into the background. Instead of survival it's
      >now one of communication. It's the communication of love.

      I agree that love is service and not sex and orgasm. But you can
      never say that communication is silence. Why do you put yourself in
      this position (of being that which lives in constant expectation of
      anticipating the service needs of those in power)? Perhaps you have
      simply not experienced a sufficient number of iterations of distinct
      Other in order to attain the self knowledge (knowledge of Own
      position relative to multiplicitous Other and, concomitantly, Whole)
      required in order for you to realise the possibility of communication.

      >This is now the hollow nothingness the in itself-alone in its
      >struggle in existence wants to avoid at all cost and the other is
      >suicide or the need to murder. As I loose the distinctiveness of
      >the in itself alone in the relation I don't really notice the
      >diminishing love. I loose the ability to communicate in terms of
      >speaking and listening and I grow silent.
      >I loose my awareness. In the communication relation, the best
      >interests of both parties don't exist. It's not our best chance to
      >reach a solution insuring the existence of the distinction of the
      >two in itself-alone. Love robs of us our distinct in itself-alone.
      >We believe a certain spiritual nature will replace the terror and
      >horror of a survival for existence. Love allows us to grow lazy in
      >seeking the nourishment and cherishment we want. We become feeble
      >and actually believe and express we can't function alone and we
      >loose our ready at hand nature. The urge is the preservation of the
      >whole and this is the complete submission to theology and
      >capitalism. We now leave existence and see communication as the
      >answer. This appeals to many of us as we are accepting the other in
      >communications the emotions of fear, anger, jealousy, hate, and pity
      >as negative feelings and we must give them up. In communication
      >theory the use of guilt and shame allow us to create the in
      >itself-alone as a scapegoat to its own existence and with the aid of
      >the other we turn fear into love. This is the old idea with enough
      >persistence we will turn lead into gold. What we are doing is
      >turning our labor power into a commodity for the other to use.

      Sartre really thought through the issue of use by the other. His
      existentialism is, more than many realise, a delineation of mutual
      instrumentality. He is careful to avoid the "reef of solipsism" upon
      which many souls founder but he also asserts that l'enfer, c'est les
      autres (hell is other people). These are all perspectives which are
      true from the individual (what you call) for itself-alone. But I
      question the primacy of individual human beings. Absolutely they can
      be demonstrated to exist; you, as you have stated, can prove it by
      killing an other or yourself. But this does not by any means refute
      the existence of other versions of the for-itself such as capitalist
      corporations, countries, tribes, animals and other self-aware
      organisations of matter and energy.

      >However, the question still remains is this the freedom of choice
      >for happiness or just old fashion exploitation and suppression.
      >Going back to Sartre, Camus, and Heidegger, I own my passions or
      >emotions and they come from my existence of Being in the world in
      >the in itself-alone. The passion I choose or I don't choose is
      >absurd and choice won't lead to happiness and the flesh and blood of
      >my body and brain in the end determines if I act out suicide,
      >murder, or die of disease or old age. Communication theory and the
      >belief in it is a scam.

      Yes, you own yours (passions and emotions), Richard. But so does the
      Other own hers. What is more, there is an entity which begins to be
      revealed by your comprehension of the passions, emotions and choices
      of the Other.

      >Let me go back to Albert Camus and the Outsider. I'm on a beach and
      >it's a pleasant day and I'm happy Being the in itself-alone. In my
      >tight jeans, I own a gun. I'm looking for sex with a woman. I see
      >this man and I kill him using far more than one bullet. I discover
      >no purpose in this action. How is it I didn't choose this man to
      >have sex? I don't own a clue. How is it I didn't use the gun on the
      >man or myself in my apartment building for mistreating his dog? Did
      >I kill theology, communication, or capitalism in my actual act of
      >killing the man? The absurd is the in itself-alone has no purpose.
      >There's just nothingness. There's no such creature as internal
      >communication within Being and there's only a sense of care and
      >concern for existence. The whole is the in itself-alone as Being.
      >Awareness is Being and it's not one of either increasing it or
      >decreasing it. There's no progressive something in Being in the
      >world increasing awareness and our experience always and not yet.
      >Nothing always presents us with new circumstances in which the past
      >awareness doesn't guarantee success. The use of theology and the use
      >of the laws of capitalism from time to time in communication theory
      >improve the odds for some of us at the expense of others.
      >Communications is neither a qualitative or quantitative relation. In
      >a situation with you we can exchange only a certain amount of
      >information or we just don't act. How much information do I need to
      >kill either the other or myself? To engage in a conversation of
      >parts and wholes defeats the ontology of Being as whole as Being in
      >the world. It goes back in a search for God. This is a denial of
      >Being as the in itself-alone. There's no opposition between the in
      >itself-alone. It's Being does make a free choice.


      I don't agree that the conversation of parts and _the_ whole (you
      cannot have Whole in the plural) defeats the ontology of Being as
      whole as Being in the world. I think I am on secure Heideggerian
      ground here. Being in the world is being-for-itself, dasein, and yes,
      it is _in_ the world. I am not looking for a God who is external to
      this world. This communicationalism is not going back in a search for
      God, it is precisely a going forward in search of what you may, if
      you wish, call God. And yes, I agree, the self is Being, but the
      self-as-being knows that it is being-in-the-world, it knows that the
      world is dependent on it for its meaning but it can also see that
      there is an analogous world that is dependent for its meaning on the
      perception of Other. It may well be that the two worlds are one world
      but the only way to find out is to try and discover what the world of
      the Other looks like and from whence it is viewed.

      >I'm thrown into the world and I try to survive or I die and one day
      >I discover I'm dead. I reach out in silence, in speech, in gesture,
      >in movement, in touch, in taste, in listening. I reach out as Being
      >as whole. What part is communication as speech and what's not and to
      >assign this great importance to speech isn't evident. I reach out to
      >you not to help you but to answer my own question. Love is an
      >abstraction and a hollow concept and it's not necessarily good or
      >bad. The transcending of personal ego has nothing to do with it.
      >Love or hate or any other moods has nothing to do with internal
      >conflict. You are doing reductionism and mechanical reductionist at
      >its best. The technological improvements in communication do exist
      >and however it doesn't mean Being is now something it wasn't 200
      >years ago.

      No you don't (one day discover you are dead). At least, your personal
      in itself-alone (look! you have got me using the term now), which I
      take to be what we may term your ego, doesn't. It very precisely
      doesn't "one day discover" that it is dead because there is no
      consciousness within which aliveness or deathness may be registered.

      I didn't at any point claim that Being is something it wasn't 200
      year ago. But I don't see that you can prove that it is the same. How
      can you know the Being of 200 years ago? Do you think that historical
      texts can be looked through transparently?

      Also, "love is an abstraction and a hollow concept" compared to what?
      Love is (to me) what I affirm it to be. I don't seek the ground of
      communicationalism elsewhere, in 'nature': I affirm it and by
      performing the act of communication realise its confirmation.

      Thank you for engaging with me on this difficult topic.

      Tommy
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