The concept of nature and the concept of domination The concept of nature and the concept of domination are concepts known by mansince the oldest prehistory. Domination of nature and the domestication of animals andplants introduced social relationships of production that transformed primitive societies,changes which, in their time marked man’s own evolutionary destiny. Today, we can feel the influence that human society has provoked in nature in allaspects of daily life. Capitalism, as the prevailing productive system, diversifies the economic riskweighing the natural risks to guarantee the optimum level of production that satisfies theneeds of the system. Therefore, one can set forth objectives like stopping world hunger,an end that gains the social and political support of everyone. On the other hand, it is anobjective that appears to need science. That is, the necessity of social approval,political and financial support, to present the world with the results of the discoveriesas real benefits for the benefit of all. Nevertheless, technological products and scientificprojects that are developed under the economic support and patronage of the richestnations of the world, end up being included in the capitalistic production systemresulting finally in the betterment of the existing social positions and the polarization ofworld wealth. There is, therefore, an incompatibility between the initial goal, supportfor the fight against world hunger, and the final beneficiaries of scientific discoveries. Biogenetic knowledge has transformed agricultural techniques and, therefore, hasintroduced new changes in social relationships of production at a planetary level. Thepresent phase of the domination of nature, at a speed unknown until now, alters thegenetic flux of same artificializing it’s behaviour. For example, the geneticmanipulation of the soya bean, one of the most consumed products in Asia with a veryhigh number of potential consumers, has already created, by the hand of geneticmanipulation, introducing genetic mechanisms that provoke infertility in a year, beansthat cannot be reused. These beans cannot leave of the supply chain of the biogeneticcompanies’ brand. The modification permits the creation of a more resistant bean butthe dependence on technology is greater thereby generating a specific, highlyconcentrated market. The thesis of over-industrialization, based in the undefined augmentation oftechnological solutions at the cost of over-exploitation of nature, has converted politicalecologism into it’s principle opponent Political ecologism considers the industrialsolution of capitalism or socialism equally pernicious. Political ecologism explains thedomination of nature by way of the economic relationships that it promotes. Thoserelationships, equally with social domination, are exercised by means of organizedaction, by the institutions, by the known procedures in our culture and the collective orindividual participation of the citizens, that is, by means of the systems of politicalaction. (Horkheimer, Max: History, metaphysics y scepticism, 1998. Madrid, p. 20). “Inthe strict sense, society doesn’t only support the domination of nature. Society bases allthat, as much as the domination of men by other men, on the combination of methodsthat drive that domination and the measures that serve to maintain so called politics”. Once we pay attention to the field where the dissolution of the exploitation ofnature comes from, the power relationships as much as the economic relationships, and,
as a consequence, that, by political means, we can modify said relationships, weconfront the problem of the need to make the responsibility to guarantee the survival ofhuge masses of humans compatible with the need to assume that the only instrumentavailable is the capitalist, industrial system. So we are not only dealing with utilizingthe argument that industrialism is the instrument that demolishes natural space, which isthe principle criticism of the system, we are dealing with the principle argument oflegitimization of the same industrialism which comes from the demand for economicand industrial growth and that, the poorest nations have confidence in grasping thissame industrial system that generates inequalities and dependencies and puts thesurvival of a large number of people in crisis. Therefore, a phase of development of thesystem where the wealth has it’s principle argument in the justification of an abundanceof misery, and in order to solve this, there only exists the capitalist system of productionitself as an alternative. Disidealization and the loss of cultural and individual identity are thecharacteristics of the present phase of the domination of nature. The formation of wealthand the necessary domination of human nature transcends physical, political andcultural borders (limits). The capitalist system demands a tribute, imposing a fetishisticadoration of money and submitting the value of everything to the value of change. Itdemands an unquestionable recognition of the status quo of economic power and in asurvey of scientific rationality, demands acceptance of the instrumental rationality, andin a survey of thought an aseptic positivism, and in an ideological survey a defence ofall irrational ties of collective identity (religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic) thatalienate individual identity. Irresponsible postures that end up delegating to faith whatreason can’t justify. Finally, since a more efficient system for the production of wealthdoesn’t exist, capitalism should assume ethically, the responsibility of the consequencesof misery, ignorance and unsustainable development of its own acts, so that, the systemencounters it’s legitimization in it’s diametric opposite. The inability to reconcile actswith responsibility, in an irresponsible society, in a society without identity, causes apermanent crisis of legitimization and coherence to be maintained at the same time.The crisis of natural resources is the alarm signal of the limits of capitalist growth; thesystematic domination over nature of which wild, domestic and human nature form apart. The uni-dimensional nature of the capitalist system looks, in a capitalism, rebornand fortified, to reinvent all the ideological processes that can contribute to theintegration within the equilibrium of the system this new characteristic of the system ofdomination. Capitalism, which is presented as the champion of all the solutions, onlylooks for the success of it’s own reproduction.
The concept of nature for the criticism of logical positivism. The concept. Thechoice of the concept of nature in critical theory, can denote an idealistic vision ofcritical theory, because “concept”, for positivism, is an empty category that hopes thatthe experiment will crystallize it’s significance, and, a function “Y”, dependent on thevariability of “X”. On the contrary, critical theory, has significance as a logicalabstraction, a reflection of material reality, two existing faces separable only by meansof intellectual abstraction but inseparable in material reality. Positivism, however,sustains the objectivity of the idea and, therefore, reifies said category. Horkheimersays, in Critique of Instrumental Reason, (Ibid., 1969. p. 57) “Pragmatism, pluralist asit may appear, converts everything into a mere object and so in the final instance, oneand the same thing, an element in the chain of cause and effect.” The nature itself of theconcept indicates to us the methodological orientation, that is, the methods by whichone must subject the object to analysis. That brings us to set forth the followingquestions: Positivist science reifies thought, in the same manner as that conceded byobjective reality. For that, the alienation of man with respect to nature is a necessarycondition and concedes to human nature an existence objectively distinct from the restof living things that is only sustained thanks to the concession that positivism makes tothe objectivity of the methodological procedures of science and, on the other hand, aconcession to theologization, divination and the extra-material superiority of scientificexplanation if we treat it as a mere substitute for myth and not an explication of veracityand a reflection of realist thought. This conflict between man and nature is crucial forlogical positivism, since it illustrates the historical separation that this philosophicalposition concedes to the domination of man as a sensitive and distant phenomena and atthe same time distinct from the domination of nature. That is, that the exploitation ofnature has nothing to do with the exploitation of man. Positivism, the same as pre-animist culture, grants to nature an identity distinct from material reality. By means ofcategorization, classification and scientific nomenclature, the positive scientistreproduces what the savages made of the natural world, that is, to make it an objective,real existence in his own perception of reality. In the same way that animist culturesbelieve in objectivity of the spirits, science believes in the objectivity of it’scodification. (Horkheimer, Max: The Dialectic of Enlightenment, 1969, p. 70) ”It’s notthat the soul was interjected into nature as psychology would have us believe; manna,the moving spirit, are not projections but rather echoes of the real superiority of naturein the fragile souls of the savages. The separation between animate and inanimate, theoccupation of determined locations by demons and divinities already stems from thispre-animism; in which the separation of subject and object is already given. If a treeis not considered only as a tree but rather testimony to some other thing, as was manna,the language expresses the contradiction that a thing could be itself and at the sametime something distinct which is, identical and not identical. By means of divinity,language is converted to tautology in language.” The domination of nature arises in thesame instant in which we recognize the identity of objects by means of the assignationof values that permit that knowledge of that reality has significance for man. Therefore,the concept supposes to provide the identity of the infinite realities possible that sharesomething in common, a common sense. The concept dissolves contact with reality, it’sexistence is ephemeral and negative. (Horkheimer, ibid.) “The concept, which iscustomarily defined as a constituent of that which has come down understood, was,however, from the beginning the product of dialectic thought, in which each thing isonly the measure in which it is converted into that which is isn’t. This was the origin ofthe form of objective determination in which the concept and the thing separatereciprocally; the same determination that we encounter very widespread in Homeric
epic poetry and which we invert in positive modern science.” With the reification of theconcept we end up with it’s negative power, it’s instrumental explanation turns into aninstrument of explanation; that is, the identity of the object by means of assigning alocation, significant for the subject, substituting the subjective value of the object for anendowed intrinsic value. The dialectic relationship between reality and valuation of thesame reality, implies a reflexive knowledge about the reality, and, therefore, apermanent rectification, a perfection of the thought that thinks this reality. In logicalpositivism this relationship is inverted since the values arising from this thought acquirethe category of objects as if those objects couldn’t be another thing nor completeanother function that wasn’t what the original thought was. So nature, in logicalpositivism, is a slave to those procedures with which it is analyzed, since thoseprocedures grant a scientific value, by tautological method, of the universal law. Or, bythe same token, nature is converted into classified objects whose natural order issubstituted for an order determined by the grid that the investigator uses to classify it. The illumination of reason, the light that disperses the shadows of ignorance,doesn’t allow the resolution of the panic of man confronted with the power of the forcesto which he is subjected. The learned, the scientists, have not been able to calm theforces of nature and only continue in artificial light, the light of scientific knowledge,which is manifested as another form of power and, therefore, another form of terror.“But this dialectic continues being impotent in the measure in which it develops from acry of terror, which is the duplication, the tautology of the same terror. The godscouldn’t rid man of the terror of which their names are a petrified echo. Man believesin order to be free of terror when there no longer exists anything unknown. Whichdetermines the course of demythologization, of erudition, which identifies the livingwith the non-living, the same way that myth identifies the non-living with the living.”(Horkheimer, ibid.). The placement of a scientific solution as an instrument, thesubstitution of the labour force by machines, the reduction of intellectual work from thenumerous data gathered, the disappreciation of philosophy and social thought, are formsthat manifest the fear of the dark, the blind search for the circuit breaker in a dark room,the displacement of our fears to the exterior. “Erudition is the mythic fear maderadical. The pure immanency of positivism, it’s latest product, is no more than a tabooin a certain universal sense. Absolutely nothing should exist outside since just the ideaof the exterior is the genuine font of fear.” (Horkheimer, ibid.)
The Conflict between Man and Nature. The crisis of nature is, therefore, also a crisis of human nature. The concept ofconflict, that only has sense for man, in which moral nature self projects guidelines ofbehaviour, values and reason, constitutes the principle criteria from which to initiate areflection about the behaviour of nature. Seen as two objects of interaction, man and nature bring to the table the question ofthe significance of human rationality, since that existing in man is blind to other formsof nature at least that we can attribute. What sense does reason have? Are wedetermined by our nature, in all senses? What does reason look for that nature doesn’tprovide? We can intuit the sense of reason from the moment that the fight for survival isassociated with an exercise of instrumental rationality. From this point reason self-justifies the practical results, but when the practical results threaten survival, then weface a strategic failure, an inadequate choice of procedure, and, therefore, from thisother point reason disqualifies itself. So therefore, we could think that, given that thisprocess of validity and fiability of reason has accompanied man since time immemorial,we should know not only the social construction of our nature but the myths that wehave constructed, the taboos, the moral decisions and ethics applied to external andinternal nature. Horkheimer sets out for us key questions in "Critique of InstrumentalReason". (Horkheimer, Max: 1973, ibid., p. 119) "How does nature react, in all it’sphases of repression, inside of man and outside of him, in the face of this antagonism?"Referring to the antagonism between man and the total exploitation of nature, "Of whatdo the psychological, political and philosophical manifestations of it’s rebellionconsist? (Horkheimer, ibid.) What we are looking for in this investigation, which can’t stop at mereapproximation, is if in those myths, those moral guidelines really, if at some point alongthe path we can find the point of inflection from which those deviations that we haveelevated to enemies of ourselves and the rest of nature are corrected. “Is it possible tosolve the conflict by means of a “return to nature”, by means of a reanimation of olddoctrines or the creation of new myths?" (Horkheimer, ibid.) Horkheimer understandsthe conflict between man and nature as a prolongation of human conflicts, that is, therelationship that we begin with nature projects the relationship that we establish withsociety. The term projection is used here from the explanation of social psychology. In themost genuine use of Freudian Projection, derived flow included, that is, as much as itpermits an explanation of the projection of internal conflict made external, we realizethat when we don’t want to confront our defects or our destructive impulses we attributethose vices and defects to an external being; it explains the displacement of energy froman intense relationship to a discharge of violence in other relationships, such that ourdesires or will are repressed to unsustainable limits and the power of our superegobecomes repressed and the violent reaction that said situations provoke spills overfriends, our social conduct, traffic, football, this quantum violence that didn’t flow inthe original situation.
As well as projecting internal conflicts of individuality on society, so we alsoproject our social conflicts on nature and that is so because social links are establishedon the basis of a relationship of physical survival. The “to be or not to be” of man is the“to be or not to be material” of man. Any other form of being responds to ametaphysical or religious explanation of human nature itself, that doesn’t allow us toconfront the internal conflicts of man in a fearful manner. That same projection that wecan exemplify in the energy that impels nations to usurp the territory of other nations orways of life, of conquest, deviating thereby their internal tensions and channelling theviolence of those conflicts, conquering and creating new spaces in which to constructtheir utopias, the dreams of their unresolved internal repressions. A “pioneering”solution for the destiny of man. Until now, the relationship of man with nature was arelationship measured by alienation, in the measure that nature constitutes the othernature, that is, wild nature; the other forms of nature. Our technological relationshipwith nature which was via those instrumental processes which permit, more easily, ourdigestion and our metabolism. But, we have modified that relationship. In theeconomic plan we have reached the point where nature isn’t the free contribution of“Mr.” natural, it isn’t the manna that God sent us. Today nature, equally with our wholecivilization, travels the path of our whole civilization, travels the path of technology andhas been converted into a purely human creation. But we can’t reduce this to a meretechnological relationship. We are also confronting a modification of the dominantvalues such that they could rebalance the part of the conscience of reality. That is, wecan’t deal only with what the capitalist system provides as the undefined progress ofhumanity, but rather to convince ourselves of the one dimensional nature of the systemin order to survive confronting the shortage of resources. Preparing ourselves in orderto organize society while confronting the imminent fount of conflicts that themonopolization of resources represents supposes the first ideological work of thesystem. In this sense and by these measures, to which the trends point unanimously, ourrelationship with nature is, in reality, a relationship amongst ourselves and therefore, itis converted into a philosophical problem, before the banishment of the subject and it’sconsciousness. Scientific ethics constitute another element in the actual process ofawareness and therefore in the formation of the social conscience. Also, the socialdivision of labour, the hedonistic cultural values, have brought a major banishment ofthe individual respecting any type of conception of the world. Also, a political problemof the first order, in which the hierarchy of power over nature and behind all that thedebate about state ownership versus privatization, the legitimacy of institutions, thevirtualization of the concept of sovereignty and their effects on human nature. That is,the relationship of man continues the same and therefore the equilibrium of his culturalbehaviour. Cultural Behaviour. Significance and significant inter-relationships of our cultural behaviour..When a temporary rupture in the inter-relationships of the significant concepts ismanifested, that is, of those concepts employed in expression, and equally, the ruptureof sense and direction of linguistic expression, we are confronted with a linguisticdysfunction, the expression loses sense. What occurs with language can also beextended to other languages and expressions of consciousness, such as art or humancreativity in general. Really, man’s own social behaviour. Cultural behaviour is affectedby that loss of temporary continuity that represents the relationship of cause and effect,
in terms of Hume and Aristotle, a “before” as cause and an “after” as effect which issimilar to the process of schizophrenic dysfunction in the mind of man. Incapable ofpiecing together the temporary logic of his reality, he lives the past and the future likean eternal present. In this manner, we can say that the identity is a temporaryconstruction, a synthesis of reference between the past and the future. But the processesof reification of the conscience, according to logical positivism, that practices thetemporary isolation of the phenomena that it studies and reduces them to a purelypresent experience, corroborates this tendency of cultural schizophrenia. Presented ascultural productivity, the significant concepts vary in multiple directions, lack of selfreflection converts to authentic the compulsion that resorts to instinct and abandons thesearch for sense. As Frederic Jameson describes to us: (Jameson, Frederic:Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Contradictions of Late Capitalism-, 1996,)“significant. What we are in the habit of calling “the meaning” - the meaning orconceptual content of enunciation - should consider itself more an effect of meaning,this objective mirage of the significance of the inter-relationships that the significantsgenerate and protect. When the relationship cracks, when the links in the significantchain break, we find ourselves with schizophrenia, a jumble of different significantswithout relationship. The connection between this type of linguistic dysfunction and thepsyche of the schizophrenic can be understood then in a double thesis: first, that thepersonal identity is an effect of a certain temporary unification of the past and futurewith our present; and, secondly, that our own actual temporary unification is a functionof language - or, better still, of oration (speech) - in it’s temporary journey via it’shermeneutic circle. We are so incapable of uniting the past, the present and the futureof oration as the past, the present and the future of our biographic experience orpsychic life. Therefore, with the rupture of the significant chain, schizophrenia leavesus reduced to an experience of pure significant materials, or, in other words, to a seriesof pure presents and without connection in time.” The process of civilization itself distinguishes between culture as an efficientresponse of said process and the impulses channelled into occurrences of violence orneurotic manifestations. In which manifestations of social conscience, the culturalbehaviour of man reflects the social conditions which pressure individuals and thedegree of expressions that the individual has in his own nature. By this means, whenthe networks of relationships between those that produce the process of socializationcontain repression, by means of fear, of desire and affect, then we only encounter a wayout by means of compulsive actions or some other nervous pathology. (Norbert, Elias.The Process of Civilization, 1989) “But depending on the internal pressure and thesituation of society and the individual in it, tensions and determined disturbances in thebehaviour and in the instinctive life of the individual are also produced. In certainconditions they can drive a continual restlessness and dissatisfaction of the individualprecisely because a part of his inclinations and impulses only find satisfaction in anunusual form, for example, in fantasy, in contemplation or hearing, in somnolence or indaydreams. Sometimes, the custom of containing the emotions goes so far - thepermanent sentiments of boredom and loneliness are good examples of this, - that theindividual no longer has the possibility to manifest his repressed affects without fear, tosatisfy directly his suffocated instincts. In those cases, real impulses are anesthetized bymeans of a specific structure in the network of relationships that an individualdevelopments from childhood, under the pressure of the dangers of manifesting theresult in the sphere of the infant, those real impulses are armoured in such a way withfears of an automatic character that, in certain conditions, entire lives are passed deafand dumb. In other cases, the coarse, emotional and passionate character of those real
impulses cause inevitable conflicts in those children in the course of their developmentof conversion into “civilized” beings, in such a manner that their energy onlyencounters an exit laterally via compulsive actions and other neurotic manifestations.” Socialization Phase. It is in the socialization phase, from infancy to youth, that theexperience of cultural awareness is shared with the experience of growth. A processwhere to awaken the consciousness of “I” and of the formation of personality, where theconstruction of subjective identity forms or conforms with objective identity, that weconfront the conflict between what nature demonstrates and what society says. Acontradiction that internalizes the social rules and conduct, the established social order.The peculiar stability of the apparatus of psychic self compulsion that appears as adecisive feature in the habits of every “civilized” individual, we encounter in anintimate relationship with the formation of institutions monopolized by physicalviolence and with the growing stability of central social organs. The family itselfconstitutes the introduction to the world of hierarchies, privileges and social conflicts.This contradiction provokes violence, the violence that adds to our struggle for socialposition, the violence that we load on the strange, on the different, on those that protestand on those obstruct us. Just as fear of the dark is not a product of the dark - thedarkness doesn’t bring it, it brings no fear - so our internal mental processes constructphobias, a reaction hidden, perhaps, in the “genetic conduct”, that recalls the fear of thedark that a primitive simian - that knew he was vulnerable in the absence of light andthe dangers of nature - associated with it. This atavistic fear that we try to resolve;extending it to our environment, searching for the key to the light, an unresolved fear,postponed, an anesthetized anguish while the light shines. This cultural sham(mockery), this light whose filmography is constructed with appearances of reality, isthe cultural answer of our time. Each product, created to satisfy real needs, loses allsignificance when converted to the reification of desire, a desire that, aligned with one’srelationship with reality, responds to a world in unconscious key, to atavistic, primitiveresorts, stimulating compulsive behaviour and conditioning our conduct by way of ourhabit of consumption. (Jameson, Frederic, Ibid., p. 39), tells us that: “The culture ofmockery was born in a society where the value of change has been generalized to thepoint that the memory of the value of use has disappeared, a society where, as GuyDebord has observed in an extraordinary phrase, “the image has been converted intothe final form of the reification of merchandise” (the society of spectacle).” We cannotforget, therefore, the internal principles of human conduct, where irrationalitycompletes its role in the systemic equilibrium of conduct. Paraphrasing the Freudianschema, the “I” takes the beginning of reality and synthesizes it, its impulses, desiresand basic necessities, at the same time that it designs a plan to prove it can bring it intopractice in a context structured by coexistence with others. In the same manner that we talk about personal identity of the individual in hissocial interrelationships, can we talk about national identity? To what extent and inwhat way? Which are the admissible parallels? We can establish the parallelism between the behaviour of individuals and thebehaviour of nations, following the path set by two classics of socio-politicalphilosophy, Hobbes and Montesquieu. Hobbes, in his “Leviathan”, shows us the foundation of the state has the sameorigin as human nature. Man that is like a wolf for man, justifies cessation of authority
of a force, superior to all and capable of re-establishing the peace amongst the egoisticinterests of man. The law of the state is the monopoly of violence. Nevertheless, whenMontesquieu, in his “Civil Government”, proposes to us an equilibrium of powers basedin executive power, legislative power and the power of foreign affairs, he is telling usabout the self-regulation of power. This exercise of self control comes from existingsuspicion about the ethics of the State, which, extends to development of autonomousbehaviours respecting the people that it sustains. Self regulation corrects or shoulddemarcate and limit each one of those powers by means of mutual supervision. Thedifference between one vision of power of the state and the other, stems from whatMontesquieu notes as a democratic power, and Hobbes, as an absolutist power whichthe Hobbesian line already considers the realization of the State as a consequence of theend of sovereign will, while the Montesquien is based in the self reflecting necessity ofpower as a condition of a rational power. Kant already introduced us to a universal moral, valid for individuals and nations.We are accustomed to hearing the principle actor speak in international relations,referring us to the state. We attribute to the state the supreme personality and sustainthe tension between the legal code and the exercise of power in order to equalize theState’s own identity, which is shared among the role of individuals, as well as collectivedesires (the social unconscious), legal normativity (the social superego) and thebeginnings of reality that exercise power in its many forms and regimes. In this sense we can say, of all young nations, that they suffer the same processesof development as man in his individuality, a development ontogenetic y philogenetic.And so, today we speak of the state as protagonist, exercising its international relationson the primitive basis of those qualities of isolated individuals, of survival and security.Justice, the law, the character of it’s institutions and finally, the rationality of it’s systemis a product of it’s own experience and of the existing social order. Therefore, thesocial contradictions are internalized locating in a separate penal system thoseindividuals whose behaviour has not respected said order. The penalization of anti-social conduct is in the custody of professional bodies of police, as are the streets,airports and private housing developments. Perhaps because our anti-civilized conductshould be repressed generating “keys”, “interruptors” for those that regulate fears and soplace in future moments social peace and the harmony of man, branding them withingenuousness. Horkheimer tells us (Horkheimer, Max: Ibid., 1973, p. 124) - "Culturalprogress in it’s totality, as well as individual education- it deserves saying, thephilogenetic and ontogenetic progresses of civilization-, consist, in grand measure, ofthe work of transforming mimetic behaviour into rational behaviour-.” Thosebehaviours are integrated including those far removed from the existing initialconditions of their existence, incorporating them in the cultural inheritance. "Adaptationsignifies the arrival of identification - for the sake of self-preservation - with the worldof objects." (...) "...constitutes a universal principle of civilization". And so, the internalstability of the system in the adaptive process, it’s self-preservation, is realized bymeans of internalization, that is to say, by means of the rationalization of it’s conduct,behaviours that the mimesis expands in social relations, it’s cultural production and it’sideological production, all the processes of the manipulation of consciousness, have, asan end, to reduce the effects of the social contradictions, to soften, normalize, regularizethe responses of, in order to deal with conflicts in the same manner as incurableillnesses, reducing their effects at the price of renouncing the illness and liquidating it,at the cost of creating chronic conflicts. Instrumental reason permits us to projectinternal conflicts, those conflicts of inequality and the differences of society postponing
their solution in a “key” that, outside of society, clouds and confuses consciousnessitself postponing real knowledge, substituting this last for knowledge and manipulationof environment. So a hedonistic society attempts to give the appearance of happinessand social equilibrium. Those phantoms, hidden in social conflicts, don’t resolve futurewars, revolutions or violence for the sake of God, the nation or race, given the unknownhistorical entity. Horkheimer says: (Horkheimer, Max,1973, ibid. p. 121) "Whattortures a young man above all is his turbulent conscience and he confuses the narrowlink, almost the identity, between reasons, “I”, domination and nature. He senses theabyss between ideals that have been inculcated in him together with the hopes that theyawaken in him and the origin of reality to which he is obligated to submit himself.." This process which projects internal conflicts to the exterior, occurs in logicalpositivism as a work of nature, that is to say, as an objective fact, and not as a conflictlinked to the process of internal development of contradiction, (from Hegel, EverythingHappens in Existence,). Institutional Behaviour. Institutional Complicity. A decisive part in the development and dissemination of the ideology of reificationis represented by an enormous institutional machine. It has been reducing the politicalspace on par with the emptiness of ideological-political discourse. Today, in Europe anextensive debate has been raised surrounding the representativity of it’s institutions andthe necessity, clearer every day, to provide those institutions with a power based on thevote of the citizens of the European Union. Farther still from a conscience of a nationof all nations, the European Union must confront, in a particular manner, the generalrepresentative crisis in the predominant democratic model. The depoliticization ofinstitutions, in the sense that Hanna Arendt recalls for us, by means of the displacementof political questions so that they are called domestic questions, has been displacing theimportance of said institutional forums and favouring others far from politicalresponsibility and public judgment. There are always more technicians, meetings ofsocial agents, designing social policy of the governments that always end up short of afinal agreement. In Spain, where the Senate is considered the best territorial chamber,they maintain sine die, the discussion about how to confront the vertebración of regionsand nationalities within the constitutional and institutional brand, in a context where thenationalist parties, who have majorities in two of the most important autonomouscommunities of the country, do not renunciate their own powers of negotiation or dealwith other autonomous communities with the equivalent respect, thereby stripping theSenate of it’s institutional role. As some authors have come to indicate (Held, David,1996, Alianza, Models of Democracy, p. 261) “the traditional representative politicalinstitutions have been progressively displaced by the process of third parties takingdecisions. The parliamentary position as supreme centre of the articulation of politicsand agreement has eroded; the approval by parliament of projected law is now, morethan ever, a mere procedure”. “(...), territorial or parliamentary representation is nolonger the principle manner of expressing and protecting interests. (...), the mostimportant work of political and economic direction derives from functional agents, toknow, corporate delegates, the unions and the branches of the state. The extra-parliamentary political processes have been converted, little by little, into the centralorgans of decision making. (...) In short, parliamentary sovereignty and the power ofthe citizens is being sapped by economic changes, political pressures and organized
development.” Neo-corporatism places in danger, room for political decisions, the rightsand duties of the citizens to establish the socio-economic conditions in which they canexercise those rights and elaborate those negotiations, at the margin of the institutions ofdirect representation of the citizens. Also, a good example of the space where the ideology of the reification of power ismade, are the public health systems. Enormously dependent on the public budget, insome cases (in the Europe of Keynesian societal well being, and the remains of stateprotectorate, as is the case in Spain) the market for health, insurance entities andinstitutional hospitals and, in others, private clinics. The certainty is that the decision toguarantee minimum standards of public health is in the hands of those professionalgroups who have their own interests in play. By means of the concentration of theresources of investigation, that demand enormous capital flow, the plan is relegated tothe clinic and by means of the dosage of medicines that reduce the effects of illnesses,cause a chronic situation of medical demand, far from that which supposes the use ofresources for the elimination of illness. Criteria like, the number of people affected inrelation to the total population and percentages that aren’t representative of certainailments, evidences the language of reification such that it reduces the subjective roleof the citizens themselves, a decisive factor in the formation of the ideology of power. As well, in the education system: organic principles in the academic structure areimposed from the top by means of the application of rules, of which there are alwaysmore, that try to apply a criteria of quality extracted from the experiences of productiveprocesses. The offer of education is continually more dependent on the productionsystem and offers of employment and we are presented with the language ofinstitutional positivism; the same reification logic, the same instrumental rationality thathas been described above. The International Relationship. According to Hoffmann (Stanley H. Hoffmann, 1979, Tecnos, ContemporaryTheories About International Relations, p. 314) theories about international ethics tendto be grouped in two categories. The realists maintain that relations between states areruled only by power and ethics doesn’t play any part in them. The contrary theory, maintains the existence of an international community, andthat the same moral code can be applied to individuals and states. For political realism, the only law that exists between states is that same law thatgoverns the relations between men, before the existence of Leviathan and, therefore, thenecessity of same becomes implicit in the initiative to order international relations froma power far removed from the desires of it’s contestants. A stronger State and with thecapacity to monopolize the exercise of force over the other States. The self-regulation ofMontesquieu supposes that the natural impulses of man aspire to monopolize all thepower. Democratic power, in contrast to absolute power, consists precisely of theapplication of self-repressive criteria; in the change of conduct to conform to the self-imposed rules. The division of powers has, as a result of self-regulation, a mutualvigilance. In this sense, the attention paid to foreign affairs has a special importancethat also acts as a self-regulator of unilateral decisions in a manner such that therelationship with others constitutes an essential part in the identity of the State.
The goal of political realism is to grant the most security via the availability ofthe most eloquent dissuasive armaments. (Waltz, Kenneth N.: Theory of International.Grupo editor latinoamericano. Buenos Aires. 1988). The most effective play of alliancesand the knowledge of the motivations of other states; the most clarity in the scheme ofsubordination and predominance, the major capacity for intervention in theconfiguration (regulated or non-regulated) of international order. The strategic fragility of political realism. Political realism, in which thedominant political thought in international relations grants to the State a major part thatis not foreign to it’s own process of loss of political representativity of the democraticmodels. Principally exercised in the institutional area of executive power, the process oftaking decisions, as well as the responsibility of national security located in saidpolitical thought in the purest requirements of pragmatism, that is, before the fiability ofinformation as a font of valid, worthwhile judgment. But, not only the informationsystems, but rather the institutional whole that surrounds exterior politics, in some casesthe army, in others the huge international corporations, in others the desire for technicalinfluence, for ideological influence, share with the strategies of positive thought, theirconfidence in the technicians, in the aseptic criteria of social sciences. That puts thosestates before a rational election system. Following the events of September 11, whatwas in some cases a hypothesis, that is, that nuclear armament or massive destructioncould be manipulated by terrorists, brought to the table in a clear direction the processof the restructurization of the international military model. Those models that were inplay, that were smashed, such that the possibility of a military collaboration in order tocombat the most obvious proof of the appearance of the enemy clashed with thefundamental basics of the proposed new model of collaboration. That is, if the enemy isterrorism, are we confronted with a tactical enemy or a strategic enemy? Are we facinga new modalidad of war or war without definition? The principle tactical objective ofterrorism is to immediately have a division amongst the old block of alliances. Theuneven response of the western nations shows that terrorism, in it’s political arm, has acertain degree of efficacy. But, is terrorism a form of fighting or is it an ideology initself? From this dilemma the reification concept of realist political thought flows. Thefaceless enemy is the enemy thing. The best enemy is a dead enemy. This is thediscussion that flows from a positive conception instrumental to reality politics. Whereis the scientificity, the rational security of said strategic criteria? For realist politicalthought, the available technology is the purveyor of all the rationality it needs. In theanalysis that the Bush administration has realized about “the enemy”, as well as thegroup of alliances that were formed in order to justify the attack on Iraq, that “theenemy” doesn’t need an infrastructure at a state level in order to develop itself oraccomplish it’s objectives is demonstrated, and rather, it is enough to attack the mostsensitive side of the most powerful military in the world in order to be considered themost important “enemy” of that powerful order. In a world determined by globalizationof the only capitalist economic system, no opportunity is provided for any otherreading; one more ideologized or sustainable in order to explain the latest basis ofinternational relations, because, the most important characteristic of this new escalationof international tension is the role in play by the politics of development in the strategicresources of petroleum and it’s derivatives. The theoretic support that this reading of“enemy” has received by international commentators proves the absence of anideological intention, that is to say, the fight against Islam or any of it’s variant forms,for the moment is not necessary. But what we should learn from those events is theexisting relationship between the control of strategic natural resources and the capacityto influence political conflicts. All of us should reflect on the necessity of a new model
of international relations. In the actual scheme of things the geo-strategic area ofconflict appears very well defined, but, can we say the same if conflicts expanded toother forecast shortages of natural resources? For examples, drinkable water. This predatory relationship with nature which contains all the justifiableinstrumental rationality of the most sophisticated armament, is also the basis of the errorof valuation about the conflict and has consequences not only in order to identify theState that more or less collaborates in order to combat terrorist organizations, but also iscalculated in terms of intelligence and in terms of time. The superiority and thepreparation of the American techno-scientific system of defense does not permit us totally the errors of the system itself. The percentages of frequency of the aggressive(warlike) balances, do not permit us to see the qualitative efficiency of the individualstrategy of their enemies. The role of the State, in this forecast panorama ofrelationships and conflicts is similar to a bull in a china shop. And this is a feasibleimpression shared by a great number of people. International Conflicts: International conflicts, when submitted to new schemas and readings, havebecome, in the defence of the west the axis of evil. The fight against communism to thepunishment of Islam. And all in the application of a neo realist scheme of internationalpolitics. The international political system has changed the rules. The methods of warhave shown the strategic debility of a scheme based in equilibrium. That is to say, theinternational system has been submitted to a restructuring of the role of NATO, the linesof attack of missiles and even the value of the military bases. The geo-strategic schemechanged in only a few years. As a result of those changes, the most modern army in theworld, incorporates schemes of flexibility, applies procedures of industrial reconversionand happens to invest in research and development, in the style of the biggest strategictechnology companies. But, the availability of armaments, depending on these newconditions of combat, have established new industrial alliances which are now moreimportant. Research in the field of telecommunications and research in new and moreefficient fuels, capitalizes on space exploration. Chemical and biotechnology industriesare the sisters of pharmaceuticals, specializing in the bacteriological modification ofviral agents and others, or the monopolization of antidotes in a foreseeable microbialwar. “Micro” not only because the size of the biological agents but rather for the combatstrategies that can unleash them. We can’t discount the part that will be played in thetechnological treatment of water. Urban concentration, that is growing at a rapid pace,has augmented exponentially the demand for infrastructures for the treatment andprovisioning of drinkable water. This role, in the manner of a “syringe” will serve as aninstrument of control of illnesses and as a means of the transmission of same andtherefore, as a decisive factor in the productivity of the labour force. In short, the strategic dependence of contemporary man with respect to the powersthat control strategic technology, that is, the technology of life, place before the humanbeing the questioning of the strategic success with respect to said technologicalprocedures. The advances, the scientific achievements reached, have been seen andpresented to humanity as definitive in the protection and extension of life, but havecaused the withdrawal of the relationship of man with nature, about himself, haveconverted man into the being responsible for his destiny and he still doesn’t have, stillcan’t use the alibi of alienation as a syndrome of the system whose benefits are greaterthan it’s costs. Now we attempt to define the scope of responsibility that we are
disposed to assume. The greater automatism in the behaviour of States, demands greaterreflection and criticism. The traditional political position, based on the intent toprophesy and foresee in advance those critical events, the development of enemies orthe reform of alliances, obliges us to incorporate new focus on the theories ofinternational relationships. Until now, political realism has been the predominantlanguage in international relations. As much in it’s classic versions (Machiavelli,Spinoza, Hobbes, Hegel), as in it’s “neo” version (Morgenthau, Kehoane, Walt, Walz),where attention is called to the intentional and attitudinal factors that have beendeterminant in the process of making decisions. The equilibrium, formally based in thethreat of mutually equivalent forces has given way in an international political contextbased principally in the ideological importance of religious faith. The United States, asprinciple military power in the world, sees it’s hegemonic role growing whenconfronted with the equally growing Islamic ideology. Also the fragile nature of thosemoments of hegemony are being threatened by instability but what perhaps has to berescued from realist logic is the effect of the small for it can acquire enormousdimensions impeding the hegemony in the system. (Walt, Stephen M. Walt: TheOrigins of Alliances.Cornell University Press. Ithaca and London. 1994) “If equilibriumis the norm (rule), if ideology creates the possibility that the small effect will bedecisively insignificant, and if foreign assistance and penetration are causes sufficientlyweak, then hegemony over the international system would be extremely difficult. Themajority of States have abundant security. But if the hypothesis of “bandwagoning” ismore exact, if the ideology is a powerful force for alignment, the hegemony would bemuch easier (although it would also be extremely fragile). Including the great powerswould see their security as precarious.” The Alternative. The critique of Habermas to Marcuse with respect to the posed Marcusian viciouscircle, is critical of the capitalist system: (Habermas, Science and Technology as“Ideology”, 1986, p. 62) “If you have, therefore, presented that technical evolutionobeys a logic that responds to the structure of rational action with respect to controlledends for the success that you want to describe; that responds to the work structure, thenI don’t know how we can renounce technology, that is, our technology, substituting itfor a qualitative distinction, which the organization of human nature doesn’t changeand while we have to maintain our life by means of social work and valuing ourselvesby means that substitute work. What Marcuse is thinking is an actual alternative forconfronting nature but from there he doesn’t finally deduce the idea of a newtechnology. In place of dealing with nature as an object of a possible arrangement, heshould consider it the interlocutor in a possible interaction. Instead of exploited naturehe should search instead for fraternal nature. At the level of still imperfectintersubjectivity we can suppose the subjectivity of animals, plants and including rocksand communicate with nature instead of limiting ourselves to working it cuttingcommunication. Particularly attractive, in order to say the least we can say, is theconservative idea that the subjectivity of nature, still shackled, cannot be liberated untilthe communication between men and nature itself cannot be seen free fromdomination.” In this critique, Habermas insists that, while we depend on work in orderto relate ourselves between it and nature, the technical proposition of non-dominationbecomes contradictory and therefore falls into the vicious circle from which there is noescape. That is, - if technology produces definite production in social relations, we can
only change the mentality that directs this technology, to change the destructive courseof man and nature imposes a new mentality-, to which Habermas answers: - A newmentality doesn’t suppose a new technology that simply doesn’t exercise it’s dominion-.Close the circle. What is surprising is where Habermas situates the point of inflection,his alternative response. For Habermas, the interaction with nature is measured bysubjectivity that man believes particularly and is not extendible to nature. Therefore,this relationship should have the power to correct itself by means of subjugation tonature. Said concession, that separates man from nature, has some practical examples inthe ecological argument from the pro rights movements with respect to animals, treesand plants. We are, therefore, confronting an overvaluation of language ascommunication, that is, as communicative action in the axis of social and naturalinteraction. In order to explain Habermas’ position , we call attention to a brief paragraph inScience and Technology as Ideology (Habermas, ibid., 1986, p., 92) “The advancedindustrial societies appear to approximate a type of control of behaviour better directedby external stimulus than by rules. The indirect action of conditioned stimuli have beenaugmented above all in the fields of apparent subjective liberty (electoral behaviour,consumption and free time). The psycho-social signature of the age is characterizedless by the authoritarian personality than by the destructurization of the superego. Butthis increment of adaptive behaviour is only the reverse of the continual erosion in thesphere of linguistically mediated interaction, under the pressure of the structure ofrational action with respect to the ends to which it responds, subjectively, such that thedifference between rational action with respect to ends and interaction not onlydisappear from the conscience of the sciences of man, but rather from the conscience ofman himself. The ideological force of the technocratic conscience is demonstratedprecisely in the concealment that this difference produces.” With this quote, we canemphasize two aspects to which we called attention above. Linguistic interaction. The role that Habermas grants to linguistic interaction andthe axis of contradiction that stands out in actual industrialized societies, that is, thecontrol of behaviour directed more by external stimuli that by rules. We should observethat it also produces a negative circularity (in systemic terminology) in that whichconstitutes an argument based on the replication of the article against Marcuse. Therules, are linguistic prescriptions, verbal or written and interiorized by reflexive oradaptive action of man, however, the action respects the ends bridges said reflectionappealing directly to the control of the conscience, by means of a non-normativelanguage, that is, by means of manipulation of emotions, the indirect action ofconditioned stimuli. In this sense it becomes contradictory to defend the formulation ofrules and, at the same time, deny the from the exercise the historical domination thatman has realized over nature at the same time that he elaborates said normativeprescriptions. The proof that the rule completes it’s mission is not when it is formulated,nor when it is exercised and the rule is internalized, nor when it is understood but ratherwhen it is obeyed often enough in order to permit that the action of said rule is in aregular manner and by the majority. There are no rules foreign to a determinedcombination of power and the critique of Habermas to Marcuse tries to dismantle therationality of a technique of non-domination, more perhaps, because he falls in his ownerrors, than because he supposes a fruitless frontal counterposition. The criticism ofHabermas to Marcuse puts in the fabric of judgment the practical consequences of
negative dialectic. The opposition doesn’t build an ideology of change simply to takethat posture. It is a posture of resistance, a posture of nuisance, but it is not analternative posture. The Habermasian alternative cannot end up changing the rules asthe Marcusian cannot change attitudes. Both lose the historical perspective andsubstitute intuition of occurrence for philosophical reflection. Philosophical Negativism. Contrary to Adorno, who maintains together withHorkheimer a philosophical pessimism, Marcuses’ militantism gets to the crux of theproblem, that is, in the “HOW”. To this point, we have noted the loss of individualidentity as a manifestation of the contradictions of late capitalism, and we haveobserved that in the internal debate in the ecological movement some practical problemsderived from the absence of this social identity are reflected, tacked, the individual asmuch as the social, in the speech made by Bauman by means of the processes ofglobalization. It stands out to us that the ideological processes that are disputed in socialpractice, are those that, on the one hand, recreate the current situation of capitalism asthe basis of opportunities, from which we can observe new social behaviour, and on theother hand, the ideological processes point out the isolation of the subject and it’s lackof a protagonist for social change. On both sides, there are detractors and defenders ofcapitalism, nevertheless, they have in common the construction of an argument of majorforce to analyze the ideology of the system. Ideology as an eternal flow that ananonymous creator oversees from on high all of social experience. We are missing,therefore, and here we follow the anxiety of Foucault, a concrete rationality. A force toexplain what concrete experience of the dominant ideology means to concreteindividuals. Among the possible escapes from the cultural contradictions of capitalism are, thesolution of D. Bell, indicating religion as the restorer of vital sense, enjoyment andenjoyment of values, an answer not foreign to the discursive processes of radical Islam,the politicized religiosity of the Jews or Neo-protestant “axis of evil” of NorthAmericans. Negative Dialectic. The other is that which derives from the process of a NegativeDialectic, that is, that which constructs the heat of -NO-, that expresses what we don’twant, but agitates consciences and therefore stimulates the search for solutions. In thewords of Marcuse: (Marcuse, Herbert: The End of Utopia, 1968, pág. 142) “Theconcrete alternative is, for the moment, negation, but in negation itself we alreadyencounter the positive. If you will, permit me to offer an example as proof. If we had togive a response in America to the question, “what do you really want to put in place inactual society?”, I would answer: we want a society in which there are no colonialwars, in which it would not be necessary that colonial wars recur, in which it would notbe necessary to raise and maintain fascist dictatorships, in which there would not beany second or third class citizens. All these formulations are negative. But one has to becompletely stupid not to see that in this negative formulation you also encounter thepositive”. But, negativity doesn’t stop with awareness, it doesn’t construct changehoping for what will occur. (Adorno, Theodor, Consignas, Buenos Aires, 1969) Thereare no guarantees of the goodness of progress. Decadence is a concept opposed toprogress, that is, the dialectic concept necessary to give meaning to the concept ofprogress; Adorno compares this with sexual taboo. Sex, as a free expression of nature, is
held back by taboo which represents the domination of nature. Decadence is also thenegation of progress and therefore the action of criticism of progress. The dialectic ofprogress is the dialectic that surpasses it’s historical limits, it’s the ascendent directionof the dialectic movement. Decadence is the descendant of the same dialecticmovement. Therefore, progress requires faith, fideism in only one sense. Dialecticwarns that the logical consequences of progress, cuyo interior, contain anundifferentiated and irreflexive progress. In Conclusion. The schizophrenia of multiple social personalities that we observe in the historicevents that we are living, confronts us with the coexistence with the neurotic experienceof accepting or rejecting the perversion of human nature as a means of self-preservation. Therefore, injustice should not be the acceptance of the instinctive compulsions ofhuman nature, but rather it’s rational achievements. The procedure has to be theidentification of the ideology of opportunism, the only sceptic. Scepticism is a anunhealthy modality of intellectual independence; it’s immune to truth and falsehood. That we can construct a society without domination if like saying we can constructa rational society but for that we have to integrate rational values as part of their utilitynot their utility as part of the rationality of those values. Therefore we shoulddeconstruct the dominant ideology for a philosophy of autonomy. To share thisstimulus for the use of reason. Reason is an excellent dialectic organ; only reason cancombat domination and the virtue that lies within it in which it can confront itselfwithout changing it’s nature. The criticism of same has to mature in place ofdebilitating itself.
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