John Landon
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Kant and Asocial Sociability Re: War and Conquest

Interpreting Kant can be hopeless. Are Darwinists, Hegelians, Marxists,
sociologists going to get Kant correct on asocial sociability? It is hopeless
to think so, and it is unfortunate that Kant himself was both confused and
clear. Hegel came closest, with his cunning of reason, but that won't work
due to teleological confusion, a long discussion. Forget Hegel for a moment.
(Or else forget Kant, make your choice)

Kant did not have sufficient data for his 'universal history', a point
evident if we look at Hegelian history, Hegel didn't even know about Sumer,
or the earliest Pharaohs.

Now with greater hindsight the beauty of the point of Kant, is becoming
clear, but only if one drops the 'mechanism as asocial sociability' idea.
Asocial sociability only looks like the historical mechanism.

But to urge that is nearly hopeless in Kant Studien, so far.
What a pity, Kant's real point has been lost. It is clear in the first
paragraph, what people do, and what history does.....Can the latter be
detected over and above what people do? Is there a pattern of regular
movement in the large? If there is then what people do becomes ambiguous, as
will asocial sociability

It can be very difficult to put Kant's thought in context, this for many
reasons, among them his hypostatization of nature. What is nature
hypostatized? That is unacceptable in modern terms, no? Nature does this,
nature does that... What does this mean?
But Kant seems right! So what does he mean?
This can only be rescued as some form of directional or certainly
non-Darwinian evolutionary process. We cannot say without metaphysics, but we
can perhaps detect a regular large scale pattern to history, as close as we
might come.

 But this is the one thing that is obscured and Kant and Darwin are simply
annexed in a muddle, ditto for Hegel, and finally Marx.
What on earth is the basis for discussion? Choose now. Kant or Darwin, no
hybrids. Period. Since Darwin is de rigeur. Forget Kant. Otherwise...

The question of causality/teleology in history needs to be resolved first.
But that is virtually impossible, and we can at best approach historical
evolution empirically. There we can see the dilemma of the concept of asocial
sociability, it is dwarged by something else.
Consider as an exercise the following picture of Pharaoh Narmer, in the
famous Narmer Palette
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This picture is the absolute classic. The first pharaoh beating the brains
out of an opponent. The rest is pure Aida for several millennia. Is this
accident? Directional? Teleological? You cannot answer such a question

 We see the major foundational incident of the 'state' (so to speak, in one
great instance, the unification of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms)
There could at the same time be no clearer instance of asocial sociability in
its most ironic form, between the extreme violence of the extra-state
individual, and the foundational violence of the state, as this individual
founds an immense tradition, to endure for millennia.  Is this man a
thug-chieftain? A world historical individual initiating the monumental
Egyptian sequence of Pharaohs?

Now here is the catch 22 question. This perfectly ambiguous 'asocial
sociability', caught in time frozen as a truly evidentiary instance where
conflict produces order, is this incident, and its type, causal, free,
random, or teleological?
You see, we can't decide on asocial sociability until we can decide if there
is a causal or teleological interpretation of the emergence of the state.
In a Darwin context, we find the incident random, the asocial sociability
therefore given a premium as the 'mechanism' by default.
It is a horrible trap, because we have factored out the 'idea for a universal

Current thinking cannot even approach such a question therefore
[But in the eonic model it is clear immediately that this incident (a simpler
example can be taken from later history) is 'eonically correlated'. That is,
it falls within the range of the directional processes in the eonic
sequence.That's not proof, but it does show where we tend to go wrong.

That seems obscure, but the point is to not take anything for granted. That's
why Kant spoke of an "idea' for a universal history, that is, an 'Idea of
reason', just on the precipice of metaphysical antinomy.

This point is not clear without a guiding model!!!  But if you check the
eonic model in detail you will see that almost all the foundational processes
of the arising of the state, and civil emergence, to say nothing of religious
forms are 'eonically correlated', which is short of making a teleological
statement. The point of the model is to evade teleological speculation, but
get some benefit from a directional history Then we can zoom out and discover
the seminal centuries of the Egyptian system, just at this period, are macro
correlated, devastating]

Surely Kant sensed the point, notwithstanding the hopeless arising of the
false asocial sociability tradition. But because this asocial sociability
nexus serves the interests

Perhaps because of the premium put on Smithian competition (which applies
only to economic systems, not total history), or the legacy of cunning of
reason in Hegel, thence the 'class struggle' of the Marxists, the ambiguity
of Kant's essay becomes critical as theory, ideology, and the lack of an idea
for a universal history goes critical and we can resolve nothing. We cannot
resolve history as causal, yet if we adopt a teleology we founder without a
scientific methodology. It is especially sad to watch Marxists fail to see
the ideological aspect of the conflict promotion wrought out of 'asocial
sociability'. But Marx was close to seeing the fallacy that arises here. But
the ambition to justify 'class struggle' as 'mechanism of history' in later
Second Internationale thinking shows they succumbed to a worse form of the
ideological confusion of theory and praxis justified as theory.
The point was that 'conflict as class struggle' is a tactic, and one might
disagree. But to say that is the mechanism of history is simply another
instance of the same apparent confusion in Kant's essay.
The point is that conflict is a decision to act, not a mechanism of history.
This screwup over the Third Antinomy simples scrambles the whole issue, and I
fear Kantians are as confused as anyone else.

Check out Narmer's Pallette. It is a fascinating instance of asocial
sociability in the most classic instance whre this _seems_ like it is the
mechanism. But with the correct 'idea for a universal history' we see that it
is much more complicated than that.

John Landon
Website for
World History and the Eonic Effect