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

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 philosophically!

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 history'.

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
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World History and the Eonic Effect