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Subject – Object dichotomy, the Modern Metaphysics of Science and the Value-Form, eight notes

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Η φωτογραφία είναι έργο του μεγάλου πρωτοπόρου ζωγράφου και θεωρητικού τέχνης Βασίλι Καντίνσκι 1866 - 1944

by Lucifugo, a diavolo in corpo


“Free Will”, “Subjectivity”, “Interiority” and “Consciousness” on one hand and ugly, dumb, “Objective” and “External Matter” on the other. “Consciousness corresponds to” or “reflects Matter” and “the Matter inside our individual heads causes Consciousness”. Simple as that! Epistemologically, the abstract logical subject that thinks, perceives and acts in a vacuum, detached from all social and historic determination, can “do nothing else” but to crash and annihilate itself upon a fetishized and abstract objectivity. In reality, both the abstract logical subject (the mute “inner individual” EGO) and the reified, abstract objectivity (dumb, ugly, “external Matter”) are rising from the same socio-historical realm. Capitalist social relations. Posed in these terms, the incorporeal, atomized, asocial, “subjective inner consciousness”, “free will” etc and the dumb, mute, “external material objectivity” are complementary forms of the social fetish of the Value-From and all the same mystical and mythical.


The “Essence of the Real” exist nowhere in sè and per sè, neither “in” abstract “interior” subject nor “in” abstract “external” object. Both subjectivity and objectivity are concrete and inseparable forms of existence of the humanly, social-historic Being-in-Earthly-Nature and as such concrete forms of social existence constitute historical and specific practical and mental categories of this Being through which the perception of “reality” is created. The whole point is to abolish after a ruthless theoretical and practical social critique both abstract subject and object, that is to transcend the real, social metaphysics of the Value-Form.


“Actions imposed by Free Will of Individuals and only by their Free, Individual Will” is the dominant “Objective Spirit” (in Hegelian terms) of bourgeois societies as a whole where the individual is “free” to annihilate “objectively” his/her embodied subjectivity and individuality as a personification of an economical category (possessor of capital, wage earner etc). In societies of capital where value/commodities relations are the mute a priori of “all” human life and societation objects in their thingly abstract form acquire the social qualities of persons and persons are reified as mere abstract subjects that simply “bear material things” for living. Here lies the mundane foundation of the “free choice of the free individual”, the whole blind subject/object dichotomy, as he/she has no other choice but to yoke himself/herself “freely” in the blind “self-valorisation process of capital” (Marx)[1].


Said that, to think “in terms of consciousnesses”, does not mean to hypostatize “Consciousnesses” in the pure ether of Reason (Logos). Consciousnesses is not a being, as Marx said in his critique of Hegel. Only real, living, sentient conscious beings do exist and to think “in terms of consciousnesses” has no other meaning than to grasp the root of consciousnesses and the very root of consciousnesses is the humanly, social-historic Being-in-Earthly-Nature, even in his/her inhuman and asocial, crude atomization, such as bourgeoisie modernity.


The whole Spirit / Matter, Individual / Society, Subject / Object dichotomy is always presupposed if we simply switch one or the other pole. Any mode of thinking, any form of knowledge (Science included) that does not produce concrete concepts, that does not grasp all concepts as concrete historical forms of the humanly, social activity inside-earthly-nature has always a metaphysical frame of reference (“Matter” or “Spirit” etc) and becomes an ugly ontology/protophilosophy.


The abstract “Free Will” is sanctified and in the same time negated from the vulgar, primitive materialism of God-like Science. “Free Will” as such, deprived of all concrete content is in a fully precategorical and fully scientific way atheoretically – without any real concept – presupposed and practically negated. As a real, mute abstraction, “Free Will” is only an anthropomorphisation of capital, fully legitimated to devour the whole living and nonliving world like a destructive force that presents “no limits” besides the tautological “I am I”. Both “subject and object” are conceived by bourgeois epistemology (a.k.a Science) as mere “raw materials” for the “eternal and unlimited” reproduction of a world of commodities.


The actual “crisis of modernity” (Karel Kosik) is not of “economical” or “ethical” or “political” or of any other kind of “order”. The fragmentation of all social relations and the functionalist, crude reduction of their particular forms of manifestation[2] in autonomized/functionally separated and antagonistic “orders”, “spheres,” “structures” etc is part of the “crisis of modernity” and surely not one of its very solutions. The concrete, living, social individual it becomes here, in capitalist reality, a dumb abstraction, a mere homogeneous unit and a blind point of intersection of the “false immediacy” (Adorno) of all these separated and isolated “orders”, as all these “orders” are mediated and produced as such by the modern social fetish, the “self-valorisation process of capital”.


Our self-destructive and cryptic modern world is build ideologically and practically upon “Free Individual, Subjective Wills” that compete “Objectively” with each other on the market until they smash to death one another. And all this filth in the Holly Name of the Individual. Welcome to our civil anti-society and leave all hope ye who enter to the “Spiritual Animal Kingdom”, as Hegel called the everyday living in bourgeois societies. To “Be Dead or Alive” in these societies is just another “micro/macro-economical factor” to take into consideration while “you make a living”. Its not this or that idea, this or that ugly theory that reduces us into “commodities with speech” but the crude and mundane reality of our reified social and everyday relations through the abstract and mystical Form-of-Value.


[1] The “self-valorization process of capital” conceptually and concretely captured is a real mystified/reified social relation (“money the begets money” by devouring abstract labor) structured as a historical totality that is build upon and reproduced by specific mental and practical categories of social Being (value, money, commodity, abstract labor etc) through which the perception of the “real” is constituted both subjectively and objectively.

[2] Such as, for example, “Thought and Language” in “Scientific” and “Common-sensual”.


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