|ND Guide Pages 209-294|
Interest in Freedom Split 213-215|
The antinomics of freedom in Kant, just like the dialectics of freedom in Hegel, form an essential philosophical moment; after them academic philosophy, at least, swore by the idol of a higher realm beyond empiricism. The intelligible freedom of individuals is praised, so that one can hold the empirical ones even more ruthlessly accountable, to better curb them by the prospect of a metaphysically justified punishment. The alliance of the doctrine of freedom and repressive praxis distances philosophy ever further from genuine insight into the freedom and unfreedom of living beings. It approximates, anachronistically, that faded sublimity which Hegel diagnosed as the misery of philosophy. Because however the particular science -- that of criminal justice is exemplary -- cannot handle the question concerning freedom and must reveal its own incompetence, it seeks assistance precisely from the philosophy which through its bad and abstract opposition to scientivism cannot provide such assistance. Where science hopes for the decision on what it finds irresolvable from philosophy, it receives from the latter only the solace of the humdrum world-view. In it individual scientists orient then themselves according to taste and, one must fear, according to their own psychological drive-structure. The relationship to the complex of freedom and determinism is delivered helter-skelter over to irrationality, oscillating between inconclusive, more or less empirical specific findings and dogmatic generalities.
Freedom and Organized Society 217-221|
The more freedom the subject, and the community of subjects, ascribes to itself, the greater its responsibility, and before the latter it fails in a bourgeois life, whose praxis has never vouchsafed the undiminished autonomy to subjects which it was accorded in theory. That is why it must feel guilty. Subjects become aware of the limits of their freedom as their own membership in nature, ultimately as their powerlessness in view of the society become autonomous before them. The universality of the concept of freedom, however, in which the oppressed also participate, recoils against domination as a model of freedom. In reaction to this, those who are privileged with freedom delight in discerning that others would not yet be mature enough for freedom. They rationalize this, revealingly enough, as natural causality. Subjects are not only fused with their own corporeality, but even in that which is psychological, painstakingly separated from the immediate world of the bodily by reflection, a thorough-going nomothetism prevails.
The Supplementary [Hinzutretende] 226-230|
The supplementary is possessed of an aspect which is irrational according to rationalistic ground-rules. It denies the Cartesian dualism of res extensa [Latin: extended substance] and res cogitans [Latin: thinking substance], in which the supplementary, as something mental, is lumped together with the res cogitans [Latin: thinking substance], without consideration of its difference from the thought. The supplementary is an impulse, the rudiment of a phase, in which the dualism of the extra- and intramental was not thoroughly nailed down, neither to be bridged as volition nor an ontological ultimate. The concept of the will is also touched by this, which has the so-called facts of consciousness as its content, which are simultaneously purely descriptive, and not only such; this lies hidden in the transition of the will into praxis. The impulse, intramental and somatic in one, drives beyond the sphere of consciousness, which it nevertheless belongs to. With it, freedom reaches deep into experience; this animates its concept as one of a condition, which would be so little blind nature as suppressed nature. Its phantasm, which reason does not allow to be withered by any proof of causal interdependence, is that of a reconciliation of Spirit and nature. It is not so alien to reason as it seems under the aspect of its Kantian equation with the will; it does not fall from the heavens. It appears as something simply and purely other to the philosophical reflection, because the will, reduced to the pure practical reason, is an abstraction. The supplementary is the name for what was stamped out of that abstraction; without it the will would not be real at all. It flashes like a bolt of lightning between the poles of something long past, which has become almost unrecognizable, and that which it one day could be. True praxis, the epitome of acts which would satisfy the idea of freedom, requires indeed full theoretical consciousness.
Dialectical Determination of the Will 240-241|
Self-evidence is the hallmark of what is civilized: good is what is one, immutable, identical. What does not fit into this, the whole legacy of the pre-logical natural moment, turns immediately into evil, as abstract as the principle of its opposite. Bourgeois evil is the post-existence of that which is older, subjugated, not entirely subjugated. It is however not unconditionally evil, any more than its violent counterpart. Solely the consciousness, which reflects the moments as far and as consistently as they are accessible to it, can render judgements each time over this. Actually there is no other authority for correct praxis and for the good itself than the most advanced state of theory.
Marx received the thesis of the primacy of practical reason from Kant and German idealism and sharpened it into the demand to transform the world instead of merely interpreting it. He thereby underwrote the program of absolute control of nature, something Ur-bourgeois. The real model of the identity-principle breaks through, which dialectical materialism disputes as such, the effort, by which the subject makes what is dissimilar to it similar. However while turning that which is immanently real to the concept inside out, Marx is preparing a recoil. The telos of the long overdue praxis, according to him, was the abolition of its primacy in the form which dominated bourgeois society through and through. Contemplation would be possible without inhumanity, just as soon as the productive forces were unfettered to the point that human beings were no longer devoured by a praxis, which scarcity extorts from them and which then automatizes itself in them. What is bad in contemplation to this day, which contents itself to this side of praxis, as Aristoteles was the first to develop it for the summum bonum [Latin: highest good], was that it became a piece of narrow-minded praxis precisely due to its indifference towards the transformation of the world: that it became a method and instrumentalized. The possible reduction of labor to a minimum ought to radically influence the concept of praxis.
Self-experience of Freedom and Unfreedom 258-262|
The subject needs only to pose the inescapable alternative of the freedom or unfreedom of the will, and it is already lost. Each drastic thesis is false. That of determinism and that of freedom coincide in their innermost core. Both proclaim identity. Through the reduction to pure spontaneity, the empirical subjects are subjected to the same law, which expands itself into the category of causality of determinism. Free human beings would perhaps also be emancipated from the will; surely only in a free society would individuals be free. Along with external repression, the inner one would disappear, probably after a long interim period and under the permanent threat of regression. If the philosophical tradition, in the Spirit of repression, confounded freedom and responsibility, then this latter would pass over into the fearless, active participation of every individual: in a whole, which would no longer institutionally harden the participation, in which however they would have real consequences. The antinomy between the determination of the individuated and the social responsibility which contradicts it is no false usage of concepts but real, the moral form of the irreconcilability of universal and particular. That even Hitler and his monsters, according to all psychological insight, are slaves of their earliest childhood, products of mutilation, and that nevertheless the few, which were able to be caught, ought not to be allowed to go free, if the atrocity is not to repeat itself into the indefinite future, which the unconscious of the masses thereby justifies, in that no ray of light fell from the heavens -- this is not to be glossed over by jury-rigged constructions such as a utilitarian necessity, which quarrels with reason. What is individuated befalls humanity only when the entire sphere of individuation, including its moral aspect, is seen through as an epiphenomenon. At times the total society, out of the despair of its condition, represents the freedom, against individuals, which goes into protest in their unfreedom. On the other hand, in the epoch of universal social oppression the picture of freedom against society lives only in the torn-apart, maimed traits of the individuated. Where this hides away each time in history, is not decreed for once and for all. Freedom becomes concrete in the changing forms of repression: in resistance against these.
On the Crisis of Causality 262-266|
Causality has withdrawn as it were into the totality; in the midst of its system it becomes indistinguishable. The more its concept, under scientific mandate, dilutes itself to abstraction, the less the simultaneous threads of the universally socialized society, which are condensed to an extreme, permit one condition to be traced back with evidence to others. Each one hangs together horizontally as vertically with all others, tinctures all, is tinctured by all. The latest doctrine in which enlightenment employed causality as a decisive political weapon, the Marxist one of superstructure and infrastructure, lags almost innocently behind a condition, in which the apparatuses of production, distribution and domination, as well as economic and social relations and ideologies are inextricably interwoven, and in which living human beings have turned into bits of ideology. Where these latter are no longer added to the existent as something justifying or complementary, but pass over into the appearance [Schein], that what is, would be inescapable and thereby legitimated, the critique which operates with the unequivocal causal relation of superstructure and infrastructure aims wide of the mark. In the total society everything is equally close to the midpoint; it is as transparent, its apologetics as threadbare, as those who see through it, who die out. Critique could portray, in every administration building and every airport, to what extent the infrastructure has become its own superstructure. For this it needs on the one hand the physiognomics of the total condition and of the extended individual data, on the other hand the analysis of economic structural transformations; no longer the derivation of an ideology, which is not at all available as something independent or even with its own truth-claim, out of its causal conditions.
Causality as Bane 266-267|
Causality is nothing other however than the natural-rootedness of humanity, which the latter perpetuates as domination over nature. If the subject once comes to know the moment of its equality with nature, then it would no longer turn nature into what resembles itself. That is the secret and inverted truth-content of idealism. For the more thoroughly the subject, according to idealistic custom, makes nature the same as itself, the further it distances itself from all equality with it. Affinity is the razor's edge of dialectical enlightenment. It recoils into delusion, the nonconceptual execution from outside, as soon as it completely cuts through the affinity. No truth without the latter: this is what idealism caricatured in identity-philosophy. Consciousness knows as much about its other as it is similar to the latter, not by canceling itself out along with the similarity. Objectivity as the residue after the subtraction of the subject is a mere aping. It is the schemata, unconscious to itself, to which the subject reduces its other. The less it tolerates the affinity to things, the more ruthlessly it identifies. But even affinity is no positive ontological individual determination. If it turns into an intuition, into an immediate, empathically cognized truth, then it is ground up as an archaicism by the dialectic of the enlightenment, as warmed-over mythos; in accordance with the mythology which reproduces itself out of pure reason, with domination. Affinity is no remainder, which cognition would hold in its hands after the mandatory leveling [Gleichschaltung] of identification-schemata of the categorical apparatus, but rather their determinate negation. Causality is reflected upon in such critique. In it thinking consummates the mimicry of the bane of things, which it cast around these, on the threshold of a sympathy, which would cause the bane to vanish. The subjectivity of causality has an elective affinity to objects, as the premonition of what the subject caused them to experience.
Depersonalization and Existential Ontology 275-277|
The cognition of what consciousness became, under the sacrifice of its living aspect, has a reciprocal power: egoity has always been so thingly. In the core of the subject dwell objective conditions, which it must deny for the sake of the unconditionality of its domination and which are its own. The subject ought to get rid of these. The prerequisite of its identity is the end of the identity-compulsion. In existential ontology this appears only distortedly. Nothing however is intellectually relevant any longer, which does not press into the zone of depersonalization and its dialectic; schizophrenia is the truth in the philosophy of history about the subject. In Heidegger that zone, which he touches, turns unnoticed into a parable of the administered world, and complementarily into the despairing rigidified determination of subjectivity. Solely its critique would find its object, which he, under the name of destruction, reserves to the history of philosophy. The anti-metaphysical Freud's doctrine of the id is closer to the metaphysical critique of the subject than Heidegger's metaphysics, which wishes to be none. If the role, the heteronomy ordained by autonomy, is the most recent objective form of the unhappy consciousness, then conversely there is no happiness, except where the self is not itself. If, under the unbearable pressure which weighs on it, it falls schizophrenically back into the condition of dissociation and ambiguity, which the subject historically escaped from, then the dissolution of the subject is at the same time the ephemeral and condemned picture of a possible subject. Once its freedom commanded mythos to halt, then it would emancipate itself, as from the ultimate mythos, from itself. Utopia would be the non-identity of the subject without sacrifice.
The Universal and Individual in Moral Philosophy 277-281|
How much aggression hitherto lies in freedom, becomes visible whenever human beings act as if they are free in the midst of the universal unfreedom. So little however would the individuated frantically protect the old particularity in a state of freedom – individuality is as much the product of pressure as the power-center, which resists it – so little would that condition be compatible with the contemporary concept of the collective. That in the countries which today monopolize the name of socialism, an immediate collectivism is commanded as the subordination of the individual to society, gives the lie to their socialism and reinforces the antagonism. The weakness of the ego through a socialized society, which unremittingly drives human beings together and, literally and figuratively, makes them incapable of being alone, manifests itself in the complaints about isolation no less than in the truly unbearable coldness which spreads everywhere along with the expanding exchange-relationship, and which is merely prolonged by the authoritarian and ruthless regimentation of the alleged peoples' democracies against the needs of their subjects. That a union of free human beings would have to continually gang themselves up, belongs in the conceptual realm of maneuvers, of marching, flag-waving, orations of leaders. They thrive only so long as society irrationally wishes to cobble together its compulsory members; objectively they are not needed. Collectivism and individualism complete one another in what is false.
On the Condition of Freedom 281-283|
Moral questions are stringent not in their dreadful parody, sexual repression, but in sentences like: torture ought to be abolished; concentration camps ought not to exist, while all this continues in Africa and Asia and is only repressed because civilized humanity is as inhuman as ever against those which it shamelessly brands as uncivilized. If a moral philosopher seized these lines and exulted, at having finally caught up with the critics of morality -- in that these, too, cite the values comfortably proclaimed by moral philosophers -- then the definitive conclusion would be false. The sentences are true as impulse, when they register, that somewhere torture is occurring. They may not be rationalized; as an abstract principle they would end up immediately in the bad infinity of their derivation and validity. The critique of morality is applicable to the transposition of the logic of consistency onto the behavior of human beings; that is where the stringent logic of consistency becomes the organ of unfreedom. The impulse, the naked physical fear and the feeling of solidarity with, in Brecht's words, tormentable bodies, which is immanent to moral behavior, would be denied by attempts at ruthless rationalization; what is most urgent would once more become contemplative, the mockery of its own urgency. The distinction of theory and praxis involves theoretically, that praxis can no more be purely reduced to theory than chôris [Greek: separately] from it. Both are not to be glued together into a synthesis. That which is undivided lives solely in the extremes, in the spontaneous impulse which, impatient with the argument, does not wish to permit the horror to continue, and in the theoretical consciousness unterrorized by any functionary, which discerns why it nonetheless goes unforeseeably on. This contradiction alone is, in sight of the real powerlessness of all individuals, the staging-grounds of morality today.
Truth-content of the Doctrine of the Intelligible 292-294|
Neuroses are the pillars of society; they frustrate the better possibilities of human beings and thereby what is objectively better, which might be brought about by humanity. They tendentially dam up the instincts, which press beyond the false condition, into narcissism, which satisfies itself in the false condition. This is a hinge in the mechanism of evil: weaknesses, which are mistaken if possible for strengths. In the end the intelligible character would be the crippled rational will. What by contrast would count in it as the higher, the more sublime, what is not ruined by what is inferior, is essentially its own neediness, the inability to transform what is humiliating: failure, stylized as an end in itself. Nevertheless there is nothing better amongst human beings than that character; the possibility of being different from what one is, even though all are locked up in their self and thereby locked away even from their self. The glaring flaw of the Kantian doctrine, that which is elusive or abstract in the intelligible character, also has a touch of the truth of the ban on the graven image, which post-Kantian philosophy, Marx included, extended to all concepts of what is positive. As the possibility of the subject, the intelligible character is, like freedom, something becoming, not anything existent. It would be betrayed, the moment it was incorporated into the existent by description, even by the most cautious one. In the right condition everything would be, as in the Jewish theologoumenon [Greek: theology], only the tiniest bit different than what it is, but not the slightest thing can be imagined, as how it would then be. In spite of this the intelligible character can be spoken of only to the extent it does not hover abstractly and powerlessly over the existent, but really keeps arising in the guilty context of such, and is realized by this latter. The contradiction of freedom and determinism is not, as the self-understanding of the critique of reason would like, one between the theoretical positions of dogmatism and skepticism, but one of the self-experience of the subject, now free, now unfree. Under the aspect of freedom they are non-identical with themselves, because the subject is hardly one yet, and indeed precisely by virtue of its instauration as a subject: the self is what is inhuman.