peter nesteruk (home page: contents and index)




Double Economy IV/Diremptions      


Double Economy IV/Diremption and Repetition (Afterword¡­)




Repetition; always in time, so always a process: in the subjective realm, such a process gives memory; in the objective realm, such a process gives ritual. For ¡¯again¡¯ can only mean that ¡®it¡¯ happened ¡®before¡¯ (even if the recognition is retrospective ¨C which also means that it may be¡­ creative). Repeated behaviour provides the building blocks of culture (habit, practice, cycle and event).


Repetition in the subjective realm, offers ideas as self-recognition together with the recognition of things and others; in the objective or intersubjective realm, repetition offers actions, re-configurations of matter, as becoming ritual. The former supports the self from within: the latter from without. Repetition in the assertion of things and self is the ability to recognise things and self, is memory. Repetition as social interconnection ranges from the everyday to intense communication; ritual from (quantitatively speaking) the handshake to the festival (and qualitatively, from giving to taking, from making to destroying, from the habit of charity to the pogrom). Identity supported by repetition as memory and in ritual repetition of actions with others and things. So, repetition, developing onto ritual, as the fundamental support of the transmission or continuity of self and its connectedness to others. Recognition in both senses, of self by self and others by self (including things), and of self by others, of self with others. Repetition is the key structuring element both in temporality and in time, in personal as in social memory - with increasing degrees of codification and affect forming rituality. Root of individual and social cohesion. Repetition as the ¡®ground¡¯ of identity and community.


Repetition. With memory supporting the self, self-presence, and undermining its illusion of autarky (the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯). With ritual supporting social relations, identity as belonging, imaginary or real (or how we imagine ourselves and our connections to others, whether fictional or real - subjunctive or indicative¡­ for a wished-for identity is still an identity).


Repetition, its possibility as ¡®Truth¡®, in science, in description and experiment (basis of axioms, propositions, laws; of confirming, checking, recognising).


Repetition; impossible as an absolute (arrow of time); fundamental as constituting connection, as transmission in process (as identity in process).


Repetition; with the ¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯ as the guarantee (fictional) of repetition, of return, of recognition¡­


So, giving an interesting circuit (or ¡®economy¡¯): from repetition (memory) to the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯ (self), and from the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯ to the ¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯, then from the ¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯ (ritual) to repetition (social continuity and connectedness)¡­



Derrida again¡­ (¡®Post¡¯- deconstruction as description¡­)


In effect, Derrida¡¯s difference with Husserl and Levi-Strauss, with Phenomenology and Structuralism, with self-presence as fundamental intuition and with absent, but essential, ¡®deep structure¡¯, is, respectively, the ascription of an inside and an outside, or an ¡®internal¡¯ and an ¡®external¡¯, type of ¡®eternity¡¯ or a priori ¡®starting point¡¯. The ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯ (¡®full presence¡¯, the ¡®privileged moment of eternity¡¯ as essence) as opposed to the ¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯ (¡®the metaphysics of absence¡¯ as essence) both implying universal validity and an a priori ¡®transcendental¡¯. What we have is two, perhaps complementary, types of foundation seeking, both equally mythical, equally illusory; one showing the dangers of relying on intuition alone, ¡®pure¡¯ presence alone, the other the dangers of constructing a (concealed) universal (Kantian ¡®reason alone¡¯) ¨C always present (as essence) but absent from our experience.

So knowledge again is as if underpinned by another ¡®double economy¡¯, a double rhetoric, the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯ and the ¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯, ¡®in¡¯ and ¡®out¡¯, both claiming eternity, foundationality, extra-temporal reliability, exceptionalism; but the second founded on the first, and first founded upon the illusory extrapolation of our experience of the present¡­


¡®Full presence¡¯, its positing, as basically talking to oneself¡­ a generalisation from our existential ¡®interior monologue¡¯, and not writing to one¡¯s self. The latter happens outside, the former is inside, closer¡­ so we prefer the former as purer, more authentic, more proximate, more immediate¡­ as if unaffected by anything else¡­ as if unchanged by anything else¡­ But all is influenced by the past, and so by repetition, by memory, and by the changes of meaning implied by its continuation (again repetition) into the future¡­ With each new repetition, each new change in time and space, or each new change of reader, a new meaning arises, a different meaning arises; as in linguistics, a change in context equals a change in meaning (and so the self-present self becomes the voice of the past, becomes the repeated, relived, reinterpreted, retrieved memory from the past¡­ which is then itself repeated and altered¡­). The insistence of the present, the insistence on this presence, even as it passes, as it is¡­ passing¡­ part of an ongoing process, is the ground of the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯. Our voice as present to ourselves (often called ¡®phono-¡¯ or ¡¯logo-centrism¡¯, when this idea is enlarged into the foundation for a philosophy, a meta-physics, a religion or an ideology¡­).


So in Nature-first philosophies (like Romanticism, Liberationism or religions like Daoism, Natural Law religions like Buddhism, and in concepts like, ¡®authenticity¡¯, and ¡®alienation¡¯), the ¡®authentic self¡¯ is our self in the context of Nature, away from Culture¡­ before the influence of ac-culturisation (before ¡®socialisation!) ¨C in practice anti-urban. And of course, the voice is always read as more natural -more ¡®truthful¡¯- than writing¡­ so provoking a broad range of anti-education movements. Nationalism and other exclusive types of identity-based ideology (religion, class, region, family, gender, sexuality) are of course based on this notion of a true essence, belonging, identity, the essence which is more ¡®essential¡¯ than the others, which is beyond change or evolution and defines who is ¡®us¡¯ and who is ¡®them¡¯.


A few more words on the relationship of the self and the group as the two options, or joint basis of ¡®Truth¡¯. Again, our own experience seems non-surmountable, non-negotiable: but this ¡®obvious¡¯ presence of the perception of things, others and self to self as opposed to the less present intermediary of intersubjectivity, exactly is the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯¡­ (the preference for self-present, ¡®self-evident¡¯ experience, not least of which, ¡®belief¡¯ as the basis for ¡­ belief). Ourselves, however, allied to our memory, make notoriously unreliable witnesses, liable to influence by mood, anxiety, drugs, age and desire. (Also ¡®obviously¡¯ is the wrong metaphor, as, if we ¡®see ourselves¡¯, then we imagine ourselves as other and so we are already seeing ourselves as others see us, and not ¡®directly¡¯ experiencing ourselves from the inside¡­). So truth is a matter of self with others as Truth¡­ (or ¡®groups of others¡¯ -say scientists- as recording truth for us to learn from ¨C ¡®second hand¡¯, as text or ¡®writing¡¯). A matter of ¡®concerted being¡¯: a concert of beings is required for truth to be agreed upon - to emerge (the product of a concerted effort ¨C so always liable to organizational or institutional taint, or bias¡­ of ¡®local taboos¡¯).


Difference again. Self, our ¡®now moment¡¯, as if (in that (non) place ¨C the ¡®place¡¯ of difference (of binary oppositions, or binarized differences in general). Just like the experience of self (the present) between past and future. One criticism of this parallel is that it is an artificial parallel or allegory: however this criticism suggests an outside point of view, where two different matters are seen as yoked together, a ¡®third person imaginary¡¯ which, in this context (outside of the self, of all selves¡­ of everyone¡­) can only be fictional (the point of view of the Other). However, this argument¡¯s starting place is our internal experience. In experience the self is more present than past and future, with self as ¡®difference¡¯ (or moment of difference) the two sides of the binary in question become secondary or semi-present, and we see the relative ¡®positivisation¡¯ of the difference in question¡­ as opposed to the ¡®down-grading¡¯ (and de-hierarchisation) of the two terms of the binary¡­. Rendered on ¡®either side¡¯, of the self¡­ or as ¡®after it¡¯, or as less present¡­ as governed by it, framed by it. Indeed, the additions of a positive and negative shading to the opposing terms of the binary is perhaps the best proof of the validity of this parallel as these could only come from the self (its prehistory, past). Nature having no positives and negatives (or no negatives, depending upon your philosophical point of view). Things are either present (to us) or less present (present as memory): ¡®not-present¡¯ suggests our recognition of a certain lack of presence - and therefore is a matter of memory (¡­repetition).









Copyright Peter Nesteruk, 2020