The Third Place: On Human Consciousness (Pt. I of II)

This Entry, split into two parts, seeks to address a series of aims that are related to the ongoing overview of the SSE. Here, I will be discussing about the role of “human consciousness” as being an influential factor in how I articulated and organized my overview of the SSE. Since the topic of human consciousness is a complex and intricate one with countless different perspectives spanning millennia, I will be addressing the most relevant and important ones for the purposes of The Third Place (1st Ed.). Key areas of interest for Part I are best summarized as the characteristics of “National Consciousness”: the “National Essence,” the “National Identity,” and the “Freedom of Conscience.” Part II is to be reserved for special discussions about another philosophical concept related to everything described here. 

The Concept of National Consciousness

In the previous Entry, I described key issues related to contemporary issuances of Citizenship in most countries and ended with another important one that could not be addressed by Citizenship alone. A “nation” is shaped by the trifecta of a State, a Totality and a Self. It is possible for the Totality to be defined by a single ethnic group constituting themselves as one People’s Community and coexisting alongside the ethnic minorities of other People’s Communities. A People’s Community becomes a part of the Totality through its own contributions to the National Essence which binds the State, Totality, and Self.

A National Essence is what shapes the National Identity of this trifecta. It is defined by a shared history, culture, tradition, language, social customs and norms, and heritage. Certain political-economic ideologies are capable of influencing this National Identity for its own ideological goals. Such ideologies may not necessarily be related to Nationalism, although Nationalism itself has spent centuries insinuating that it is the only ideology to define the National Identity and therefore make alterations to the National Essence of any given nation. Regardless, all People’s Communities which share the same National Identity and are able to reshape the National Essence of their own nation will hereby be referred to as the Nationals. Conversely, it is also possible for other People’s Communities to exist within a nation and not reflect the same National Identity and National Essence. These People’s Communities will be referred to as Foreigners.

In Production for Dasein, Nationals and Foreigners are both capable of attaining Citizenship and its associated Legal Duties and Legal Rights. It is possible for Nationals to express their National Identity as being that of another nation and it is likewise the case for Foreigners as well. In the other two Modes of Production, Production for Profit and Production for Utility, there is always this flawed belief that all Nationals are the same and ipso facto all Foreigners are the same. This problem has become increasingly apparent at period when most Western countries confer Legal Rights devoid of any Legal Duties whatsoever as part of attaining Citizenship. The question that needs to be raised is whether a National, despite having Citizenship, could become a Foreigner and likewise for immigrating Foreigners (who may or may not have Citizenship).       

The implications of Citizenship, as they were raised in the previous Entry, also suggested that human consciousness itself has its own role to play in the shaping of National Essences and National Identities. I have stated that the Self does not exist in a vacuum isolated from others and is in fact a part of the Totality. This means that the Self is going to be shaped by the Totality insofar as the Self is expected to serve the Totality. But that does not imply that the Self in their entirety is going to be defined by the Totality. It is possible that the Self may have their own sense of personal identity which might differ from that of the Totality. It may manifest in terms of an adherence to another ideology, religion, ethnicity, a different set of values, or political-economic views which are not shared by the Totality at large.

How to Read the Freedom-Security Dialectic

Just as the Totality can influence the Self, so too can the Self influence the Totality. Both forge their political-economic consensus through the State in the form of laws and constitutions. The key to ensuring that the Self and the Totality are able to get along despite having many differences is related to the question of Freedom of Conscience. This phenomenon can be discovered by relying on the Freedom-Security Dialectic, distinguishing between “Outward Freedom” and “Outward Security” on the one hand and “Inward Freedom” and “Inward Security” on the other.

In the Freedom-Security Dialectic, the Left-Right Political Spectrum is viewed not in terms of “Left” and “Right” but in terms of Security and Freedom. The policies of the Political Left revolve around the pursuit of greater Outward Security to the detriment of Outward Freedom, whereas the Political Right focuses more on Outward Freedom at the cost of Outward Security. The former yields “Outward Security, Outward Unfreedom” and “Outward Insecurity, Outward Freedom” for the latter. The Political Left and the Political Right can afford compromises in Unfreedom and Insecurity insofar as they still need to appeal to the “Outward Unfreedom, Outward Insecurity” of the Political Center, what the Counterculture would refer to as the “Establishment.”

Here, the Freedom-Security Dialectic corresponds to the general parameters of political-economic policies promoted by the Political Left and Political Right. Most elements of the Political Left prefer promoting “Economic Security” by trying to change the Mode of Production from Production for Profit to Production for Utility. On the Political Right, the ideal of “National Security” corresponds to the need to contribute to the national defense and law enforcement. When it comes to Political Freedom, however, the Left and Right begin to differ. The Political Left believes that certain Political Freedoms need to be reduced in order to curtail the excesses of Production for Profit and to empower national minorities. Usually, that translates to the promotion of Welfare Capitalism. In the Political Right, other Political Freedoms need to be expanded to appeal to the religious and the local community, providing those groups with the “freedom of action” to live autonomously.   

These aforementioned characteristics are, of course, self-evident within Parliamentary Democracy. Even so, we can see how the Freedom-Security Dialectic applies to the Political Left and the Political Right.  For the Political Center, because they begin with Outward Unfreedom, Outward Insecurity by default, they need to find ways to appeal to the Political Right and Political Left in order to promote their own policies, all of which are supportive of Neoliberalism. If the Political Center can at least get either the Political Right or the Political Left on its side, it will be able to build a coalition government. In a European Parliament, siding with the Political Left yields Social-Democracy or Social Liberalism (Read: Progressivism); conversely, siding with the Political Right results in Christian Democracy or Classical Liberalism (Read: Libertarianism). The default ideology of the Political Center is Economic Liberalism (Read: Liberal Capitalism).

It is important to ascertain whether or not a different set of characteristics can be found in Council Democracy, especially given the fact that the Left-Right Political Spectrum will cease existing in favor of different ideological schools of thought. What I had just described about the Representative model of democratic governance is that, by focusing so much attention on the “Outward Freedom” and the “Outward Security,” the Political Center neglects the possibility that an “Inward Freedom” and “Inward Security” might exist.

The Political Left’s Outward Unfreedom is tempered by an Inward Security. In a Social-Democratic or Social Liberal Parliament, the perceived loss of Outward Unfreedom is seen as justifiable if it means receiving self-assurances that people will be caught by the “social safety net.” But in doing so, this loss is accompanied by an Inward Insecurity: there is always that apparent risk that the “social safety net” will fall apart and the Production for Utility becoming unsustainable. That Inward Insecurity is fueled by the possibility that the Political Right will do something that will create Outward Insecurity for the Political Left.

The Political Right’s Outward Insecurity is tempered by an Inward Freedom. In a Social-Democratic or Classical Liberal Parliament, any perceived loss of Outward Security by Production for Profit can be justified if it means being able to achieve a Quantity of Kapital higher than the corresponding Quantity of Schuld. However, there is also an Inward Unfreedom because in Production for Profit, there are no real guarantees that the Quantity of Kapital will be higher than the Quantity of Schuld. The result might instead be a higher Quantity of Schuld, causing economic downturns that force the Political Right to adopt certain aspects of Production for Utility to correct the failures of the Market/Mixed Economy or the Fractional-Reserve Banking System.   

Similar to the Outward Freedoms and Outward Securities, the Political Left has its own Inward Freedom and the Political Right has its own Inward Security. The Political Left is capable of promoting social reforms, class solidarity, and social justice which cannot always be expected to come from the Political Right. This explains why most acts of political change in Parliamentary Democracy tends to consistently stem from the Political Left. Conversely, the Political Right is capable of providing a sense of order and confidence that only be considered as the byproducts of promoting religiosity, national solidarity, strong families and tight-knit communities.  

But what about the Political Center, given the fact that its apparent Outward Unfreedom and Outward Insecurity tends to attract political polarization between the Political Left and Political Right? Whenever there is a coalition government forged by the Political Center, there is a synthesis of Outward Freedom from the Political Right and Outward Security from the Political Left. However, in doing so, there is the consequence of imposing Inward Unfreedom and Inward Insecurity for both the Political Left and the Political Right.  

How does this manifest under Neoliberalism? In the best of times such as during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, the Political Center promises to provide Outward Freedoms and Outward Securities in exchange for Inward Unfreedom and Inward Insecurity. The results are problems ranging from an apparent inability to change the status quo (which could be a cultural phenomenon as well as a political one) to a growing lack of originality, energy, creativity, and other characteristics which are to be expected of the individual Self. In a Liberal Capitalist Parliamentary Democracy, one is expected to become a “square,” as somebody who is incapable of striving to overcome the rampant nihilism, soullessness, senselessness, degeneracy, wastefulness, and godlessness that are all associated with Neoliberalism. It was precisely all of those problems which became apparent in the 1950s and the same ones which sparked the Counterculture in the manner that it occurred in the 1960s. But as I had maintained earlier in Section Four, trying to raise awareness about a problem is not the same as actually trying to confront the problem. The latter was where the Counterculture had failed because it was never able to fully isolate itself from the “Establishment.”   

For the Political Left, it manifests as the sort of frustration that comes with certain values not changing as they were intended or even as quickly as they should. For the Political Right, it is anguish that comes with struggling to comprehend how other values continue to decay in spite of their best efforts or failing to realize the inherent problems of those values when they were originally introduced in the primordial past.

Freedom of Conscience

In a Council Democracy, where should the Council State and Totality stand on the issues posed by the Freedom-Security Dialectic? Simply put, the Council State’s greatest weakness is the inability of the Totality and the Self to forge a consensus among themselves. It is only as powerful as the Totality and the Self. Both need to rely on each other to hold each other to account and to correct each other’s flaws. This is a reciprocal relationship that has to be sustained by the Delegative model of democratic governance. The Freedom of Conscience in Council Democracy is best represented as Inward Freedom and Inward Security.

Having a Constitution of Constitutional Intents and Constitutional Obligations, accompanied by a Legal Code of Legal Duties and Legal Rights, will provide the Self with a sense of purpose and determination within their personal lives. It will reassure the Self that nobody what happens, the Totality will always try to look after them, and that may or may not include the direct involvement of the State. It might provide an initial sense of Outward Unfreedom at first, but it will be counteracted by a corresponding sense of Inward Freedom. This is only going to happen to those who find themselves encountering immense difficulties trying to balance the Legal Duties and Legal Rights of their Vocation in relation to fulfilling the Constitutional Obligations and Constitutional Intents related to any given Profession. But once the Self is able to discover their Vocation in Life and are willing to pursuit it as a lifelong ambition, they are willing to endure the Outward Unfreedoms with their newly obtained Inward Freedom.  

This Inward Freedom concurs with an Inward Security that comes from the Self’s ability to entertain any viewpoint, perspective, or position that is contrary to that of the Totality. There may be moments where the Totality is incapable of entertaining the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the improbable, and the fantastic. Compared to the Totality and the State, the Self is the only within the trifecta that is capable of presenting new possibilities and new ways of doing things that will benefit the Totality, the State, and themselves by extension. The question is whether the Totality is willing to listen to the Self, acknowledge their concerns, and accept constructive criticism. Even in times where there might be a sense of Outward Insecurity for the Self, there will always be legal mechanisms in Production for Dasein where the Self can hold the Totality to account.  

At the same time, the Totality enjoys the Inward Security of maintaining their own inner sense of Authentic Dasein. The multiplicity of different beliefs, ideas, values, and principles will be respected, preserved, and promoted by the Council State. The Totality also wields the Inward Freedom of being able to invite the Self to adopt those beliefs, values, ideas, and principles. Should the Self refuse, that is decision which the Totality must uphold and refrain from violating. Similarly, there may be moments where the Totality might encounter instances of Outward Unfreedom from the Self’s inability to uphold their Constitutional Obligations and Legal Duties as well as Outward Insecurity from the Self’s arbitrary abuse of Constitutional Intents and Legal Rights. If that were to happen, the Totality also has legal mechanisms in Production for Dasein where the Totality can hold the Self to account.       

Nowhere is this Freedom of Conscience more obvious than in the everyday practices of the State Commissariats of Wages and Prices. There will be occasions where disputes may flare between the Administrators and Economic Planners and Civil Servants, the Economic Planners and the Administrators and Civil Servants, the Civil Servants and the Administrators and Economic Planners. The State Commissariat must decide which of the three groups of people is speaking in the interests of everyone as part of the Totality and listen carefully to them. They must know when the Self speaks truth to power and when the Totality speaks truth to power. They must uphold the balance of power between the Self and Totality and to ensure they will learn to work together.

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