Aight I’m gonna try to keep this one short.
There are many implicit conceptual structures and gizmos in the backend of this writing project. One is this:
This is a model of some different interlinked conceptual registers through which our minds can process data/phenomena. I’m stealing it from Hegel and updating it a bit with Lacan. For any given isolatable sensory data process we can find singular aspects unique to only that one ISDP, particular features common to the set of all of that particular ISDP, and universal features, common to all ISDPs.
A model like this is useful because the structure of the model can then be productively interpreted and re-examined from multiple angles, and when you change the structure of the links you change the way you process phenomenological data. For instance, you may have noticed that this construct maps isomorphically onto our political compass. Large scale fractal isomorphisms like this are a key feature of the craft of systematic thinking.
This is a dense abstract summary of how I use this concept, so that you can adapt/correct for it.
Most of us are socialized to exist primarily in the particular register. The ‘identification’ and ‘disidentification’ tools (and going through essentialism, etc) can get you out of that into more universal registers. Having developed universal registers as well as developed particulars is necessary for full deployment of singularity. If you have all three of these registers consciously operating with a bunch of stuff – then it’s go-time.
The discourse I am presenting on this site is intended to operate as fully in a universal register as possible, while minimizing singular and particular elements. It is both impossible and undesirable to get rid of these entirely. Nonetheless – I am trying to suspend the particular signifiers ‘class’, ‘race’, and ‘gender’ and their associated discourses as much as possible, and to write instead in a universalist register tying all of these particulars together.
I should make this very clear: doing this is ultimately impossible and also quite dangerous. Not as dangerous as biosphere collapse tho! Nothing beats the greatest crime against humanity and the biosphere that has ever been committed. (Hey libs!)
I am doing this because I think the magnitude of the universal crisis justifies it being the backdrop context to any existing particularist dispute or discourse. There will be no classes, races, or genders on the planet we are currently building. The wager here is that the Event progresses, this universalism will become more and more prevelant and relevant as a cognitive mapping.
So, when you read this dimension of universality, you can bracket and subtract my particularity and singularity as follows: I am a straight white male who was born into a christian millenarian sect as a child on the rural (vs urban) side of the principle NA contradiction, and left the sect soon after leaving home. I never had a culture to go back to, nor one worth integrating into, so have been largely outside the rural/urban NA-core contradiction most of my adult existence.
I’ve been lied to all my life, and so have had to become a truth seeker. My current conceptual shit works as follows:
I consider the hard sciences + the praxes of historical materialism and psychoanalysis to all be empirical endeavors, and the reification of these discourse/practices as minimally scientific influences both my epistemology (dialectical/differential/transcendental) and ontology (materialist). I try to follow the lead of these discourse/practices. If I differ from them, it’s me that’s wrong – but there is still no text I will not critique. The learning goes on forever.
There is always something of interest in every discourse/practice – but only some are scientific. How can you tell? Scientific frameworks all work with the laws of thermodynamics, is a good place to start. They are all also embedded within practices that are minimally capable of external error-correction. They eschew teleology for contingency! They can auto-critique and update their own axioms! They are built out of the demolition of the enchanted universe. They disallow the generation of meaning from the getgo. A bunch of stuff really.
I navigate between conceptual registers (and discourse/practices) with a bunch of evolving Hegelian and Deleuzian conceptual structures (I consider these figures to be the best available resources for conceptual construction), and I also roll with Nagarjuna and Laruelle (the best deconstructionists) in order to counter the constructionist software. Theologically speaking this means my universality is descended from both Buddhist and Christian sources. There’s some Moslem in there too – I’ll be damned if Laruelle can’t be read as an Imam or a Sufi sometimes.
The universality of this discourse dimension is based on the following assumptions:
- we all share a biological structure with universal material dependencies and functions
- we all share 96% of our genome with every other life form on earth
- we all live on the same planet
- we all have to eat
- we all speak and are spoken by language(s)
- we all die
- the inviolability of the laws of thermodynamics.
If these hold, then my analysis and discourse applies to you – and everyone – in some way.
Universalist registers are always hooked up to particulars and some singularity somewhere, so they are never neutral containers of abstract elements. Rather, they are terrains of struggle. Every possible particularist lens on my stuff will generate a different read on the discourse. This is extremely good. A dynamic universalist dimension must be able to operate in as many possible particular registers as it possibly can, and you need both for singularity to develop.
So, while it may no doubt seem like processes such as the one I outline in my essentialism takedown are asking you to ‘give up your identity’, from the other side of maximum dereification/disidentification it looks like I am instead giving you the opportunity to enhance it.
Your mind already has a universal dimension, but under liberalism we’re not really allowed to question it or relate to it dynamically. It’s supposed to remain unconscious, the assumed unquestioned backdrop for any possible interaction between commodified agents. The only way to become dynamically involved in your own universalist dimension is by deconstructing the one inflicted on you as a child and reinforced by capitalist life practices. Religious conversions do this automatically and unconsciously. It can be done consciously and systematically, without reifying transcendence.
I can’t prove any of that to you, but you can test it out yourself.