Ezra, Huaso and St. Dennis (I, II)

I.

Parenthood my well be the ultimate political marker and, in due time, the ultimate revolutionary act.

If this isn’t a banal assertion — to the point that making it is wasteful — that’s because pharmaceutical birth control is rather recent in the grand scheme of things: at most two generations back from you. This means parents are still an overwhelming force in society. Given how the experience of parenthood *proposes* a view of the world that profoundly contrasts with the institutional consensus that Moldbug used to call the “Cathedral”, it’s not difficult to find a heuristic mapping between grand political alignments (abortion; the “right to repair”; NIMBY; multiethnic multiculturalism) and one of the sides of the parenthood divide. This is also the case with many contemporary issues (the drive to normalize “virtuous pedophiles”, with their victimless crimes of fantasy porn; the tug-of-war around puberty blockers, where many would like to frame the parental veto as a kind of religious-tinted oppresion; I could go on, but you could just go on twitter).


From where I stand — given my long-term/long-standing involvement with theory in general and *asemic horizon* specifically — I can’t tell whether what I just said is utterly banal (again, to the point where making the assertion is wasteful) or utterly surprising. I suspect both positions can be found in a large-enough reader base, and that this, too, correlates with parenthood.

The chroma shift induced by parenthood is both sprawling and impossible to reliably represent in theoretical *format*; also, it’s still shared by vast armies of parents, some of whom are even vocal about parenthood as a principal (i.e. narcissistic) component of the identity they figure they have. But it’s interesting enough to spoonfeed a baby, have him reject one more spoon of the beige cream (that would be delicious with some olive oil and salt, but, alas) — and note that here you *don’t know* yet what the baby *needs* — but next distract him with something and shove some food in him. This is “illiberal”, but then you find the baby is still hungry and will proceed to eat faster than you can reliably operate a spoon.


Critical theory would have you know this is a political situation — everything is a political situation, from what it seems — and, for once, that is really the case. This, one more time, is either banal xor surprising: childrearing is not democratic. And if you’re still child-free but had approximately good enough parents, you might find this isn’t even a big deal, that it doesn’t matter. But the tenor of some radical cultural progressivism would seem to indicate that parenthood is such a proxy for the wrong political stances that it must be directly attacked. It would make sense, under this reading, to design cultural-shock offensives around the anomalous form of political solidarity that is a child’s *trust* on his parents. Cultural commentators might then tie this to the evolution of shitty parental stereotypes in pop culture. But here we need to suspend the whole issue of parenthood (as critical as it is) annd focus for a while just on this edge — trust.


In somewhat genericized political terms, trust is a side-channel, not really subservient to the axiomata of democratic legitimacy. It’s unclear, even, that legitimacy *applies* to trust (i.e. that trust can belegitimate) — it certainly facilitates quite a few illegitimate conducts. Unsurprisingly, the wisdom of my age and generation has been to invest in low or even zero-trust mechanisms, in such a way that high-level *chroma* concerns appear to be resolved in *chrema* opportunities (e.g. crypto mining to support DAOs). This probably doesn’t work for stick-in-the-mud technological constraints, but it is certainly a leap into the high axiologies. Maybe we need to look closer into this trust thing.


II.
We want somehow to tie Ezra Pound’s thoughts on usury to a *nomics* so that Heidegger’s tool-analysis appears in clear contrast as an *omics*. But we can’t just wish a brilliant reframing of the “metaphysics of the Situation” into place. For one — I’m reasonably comfortable with -omicity as a concept of theory, but find considerable more difficulties dealing with -nomicity in a homogeneous fashion. Just by looking at the social sciences, we can see different *kinds* of nomicities that, if we’re very lucky, may perhaps correspond to different *layers* of nomicization. We therefore have to consider the syntactically parallell terms such as “Austrian economics”, “neo-Keynesian economics”, “steady-state economics”; these become more bogus as the *prescriptive* side of the is/ought sign acquires (or rather becomes embedded in) a *realist* epistemoral account of the world. This, which we could call the Switchblade Razor, is useful at least to deal with nonstandard economics: “Modern Monetary Theory” is void of actual content, while Piero Sraffa is simply impossible to understand.


But, if the applicability of the Switchblade Razor outside bad-econ is suspect, there are worse news: the ought-side gradient from prescriptive idealism to absolute lunacy fails to produce a clear multi-layered metaeconomic schema; it better matches a gradient of compactness and hardness, from rock to sponge to foam. If these words already appear to carry an epistemoral baggage of their own, that’s because language is doing what it’s supposed to do — help us to at least *paddle through* the immense morass of theory. This is why episte/morality is inseparable in virtually any actual scenario. Note also that “virtually” here carries water that may be more appropriate for “almost” — but isn’t the close collision with *actual* irresistible? Theory is only possible through the accretion of technical terms; in *asemic horizon* we have borrow *actual* from Manuel de Landa (the Deleuze exeget) but eventually ruin it just a little by *subordinating* the virtual to it, even if only for the textual effect of a passsing phrase. And if it appears that we’re starting to chase our own tails, it’s because the Switchblade Razor is *in the core* of the ambient conditions of madness.

The enveloping problem in which nomicities merrily proliferate is, then, the problem of the *core*. Here we have to arrest the fast-pulling rope of abstraction and restrict ourselves to *cores of ambient conditions* — I’m already dizzy as it is and coughing nervously. As every econ major knows, the *core* is the set of solutions that can’t be improved. This gives ambient conditions the power of *conditioning*. Nomicities (those pre-actual, Deleuzean-virtual percursors of the nomic itself) are otherworldly; they sit on the right side of General Axiology; but they’re not born *in* General Axiology.


Consider the simpler case where the core is game-theoretical and arises, ultimately, from initial allocations. Then, the (singular) nomicity is a Just World Theorem — if the game-theoretical description of what’s at play is fair, then, well, fair is fair — leben heisst leben. But what animates the skeleton of theory from the shadows of the indeterminate might of mathematics is that the description is, pathological cases excepted, never right. This drives a wedge in the episte/moral formula (where the Switchblade Razor had barely made a scratch). There’s always something else, something overarching and systemic. Ambient conditions are akin to games where Dasein gets a seat. This is not to say that ambient conditions may not end up favoring *usura* — Capital is one of the few open-and-shut object studies in metaphysics, solved definitely by Euler and Laplace. Ezra Pound may be, then, excused for denouncing Capital as a false god; in some terrifying way, Capital is beyond God himself, as both find themselves in the ultimate *quability conditions* (the “solution concept” by which ambient conditions arise) of ultimate reality. And may we all beg for the grace of God, for Capital is technology and God is no machine.

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