|The state in the free economy (Part Five) - A check on the criteria of social value in the 'free' economy|
|The Labour Movement-Economy|
All this philosophy of supposed 'freedom' in the economy belongs within the context of the assessment of the capacity for enrichment as an absolute value, which is something atavistic and very ancient and is concerned solely with survival, but now not as a need, but as a value which is transformed into superiority.
Insistence upon primitive instincts, regardless of any logic of the instinct, which is grounded in need, brings to light the distortion of the logic of the instinct, for example, of survival.
For this reason, we shall draw attention to the following:
In the free economy, the valuability of man is summarised in these few, crudely direct, words about the lust for power which Nietzsche articulates in his book The Will to Power. This is now obvious today, in the age of the world economic crisis, of the decade of 2010 now beginning, when there is an exceptional accumulation of wealth, and, at the same time, a dramatic reduction in the incomes of the many, who have ended up as group of units under management, precisely as Nietzsche says in this book. On what criterion did we reach this dire position? Money as a means to power.
An example of the Nietzschean theory is the following: "Value consists in the highest quantum of power that man is able to absorb – a man, not mankind! Mankind has been, from a much earlier stage, a means rather than an end. It is a question of type: mankind is simply the experimental material, the awful surplus of failures: a field of ruins."(1)
Is this a social value? Of course not. Naturally, the crude champions of power would say (or they would think it but would not admit it) that society, in any event, is not of interest to them and does not fall within the values which they profess. The proponents of the supposedly free economy have done the latter: they have spoken about a false freedom for everyone, whereas they knew in advance that this would not be realised, as they have hidden the truth and with the bait of profit, and, at the same time, of the security of big ideas (whereas these cannot be combined with one another) have led astray the multitudes of the West, relying on the foolishness, greed, and wilful or involuntary failure of thought on the part of the masses, who have grown accustomed to living in contradictions.
2. The reversal of values
In reality, the concept of value is inherent in the human consciousness, but for some people values have no moral content and morality is a weakness. Nevertheless, they are treated as reverse 'values' which prompt these people to follow them. Absence of order , which is used as an excuse for whoever is the strongest to dominate (if, in fact, there was real disorder!) does not have aims and therefore does not direct the actions of men or beings towards some objective.
Such devotion to power, however, reveals an order in a bad sense - as a distorted response to real values (for example, of order) which are moral, and this is not the case because the churches or the weak say so, but because this is latent in the necessary relation between individuality and Wholeness, in which Wholeness is transcendence and quality, and not quantity. This correlation alone precludes immorality - in spite of the fact that morality here does not have the familiar, conventional, malicious, and weak character which has made the concept of morality despised (by the hasty, of course, and the unthinking who are unable to distinguish what happens from the concept).
3. Negative globalisation
"In opposition to this dwarfing and adaptation of man to a specialised utility, a reverse movement is needed – the production of a synthetic, summarising, justifying man for whose existence this transformation of mankind into a machine is a precondition, as a basis on which he can invent his higher form of being.
These words should not call forth in us horrified surprise, but should urge us towards circumspection, prudence, and responsibility. And, without any doubt, human beings today are being prepared for 'levelling', without this meaning that they will necessarily be defeated, if, of course, they resolve to change direction.
It is clear here that, in an age of the globalisation of the economy, the many are for the few a dehumanised totality, useful to them for the acquisition of profit. But it is these people themselves who have accepted these ridiculous criteria of value (money) for life, and most of them, if they were powerful, would commit the same crimes. For this reason, there is no way out of this impasse. Some thousands of years of history have demonstrated this, in spite of the serious developments of civilisation. It seems that mankind does not yet have the capacity to establish rational criteria and to reject competition.
Rightly did Pascal say: " ... For whom will men choose as the most virtuous and able [to be a ruler]?" He said this about the case where someone became ruler simply because he was the son of a king, without any other value. And he went on: "Reason can do no better, for civil war is the greatest of evils ".(5)
4. There are no arguments in support of values
The choice, then, of the capacity for enrichment as a central social value on which the whole economic edifice must be grounded, and, by extension and inevitably, that of culture also - whether this is admitted or not - rests on the naivety and greed of man, but there are other human tendencies in the margin which are suppressed by money and power as being pointless.
5. Values are indispensable for Wholeness and sociability
Other abilities involve more the abstract and the social. Medicine, education, the arts, the sciences are gradually being pushed into the margin and emerge from it only by chance or if they bring in profit for a few. In no circumstances do we mean that these fields are in the hands only of people of integrity. Nevertheless, many people who are useful to the world will be active more in areas of culture than in the economic field, where they are relatively rare, nearer to the apex of its pyramid.
The capacity for enrichment without any other implications for consciousness (and we are not speaking of superficial acts of charity) is based on atavistic instincts, whereas it ought to now be subconscious and not be the centre of the world. Abilities, as they evolve, must be transubstantiated, must be transformed into more abstract abilities which are closer to the spirit than to the material. This does not mean that they should not arrive at an external result, but that their value lies in the abstract as transcendence. If the motive for the acquisition of money has to do with wholeness as transcendence (that is, not as a state or a nation or suzerainty), then it loses this material character and becomes equally spiritual.
Anyone could maintain, of course, that these are his criteria, and be lying. Nevertheless, today's wealthy can in no way argue anything of the sort, because they have used money in such an imprudent way as to demonstrably have plunged the world into poverty and insecurity.
To quote Pascal again: "A severed limb can only lead a perishing and dying life. Inasmuch, however as it does not know that it belongs to a body, it aspires to be its own centre and its own all."(7)
6. The handling of power
7. Abilities, values, and models
But the world of need cannot be abolished as long as the direction of our life, our models do not change, and, at the same time, because a hypothetical abundance together with the absence of a right direction would lead to arrogant vanity and the reinforcement of delusion. Need must be replaced by intellectual alertness and vigour and evolution, otherwise it is invincible - and so it has to be.
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