09/9/20

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism” (Part 6)

0040 Harvey Winerock is the poster boy of the marxist endgame.

Here is a character at home with the cruelty of the organization tierB, where asymmetric relations among individuals is contiguous with systemic oppression.  Harvey stands as a gatekeeper for the studios of Hollywood.  He is a gargoyle.  Actresses and actors must speak the proper slogans2a and submit to the proper humiliations1b in order to pass into the bewitched enclave where every asymmetric relation stinks of systemic exploitation.  Welcome to an institution filled with marxists.

0041 Harvey lives the marxist dream.

Until, of course, he does not.

Why?

Others can play the game.  The organization tierB changes, every so slightly.  The identification of oppressor and oppressed2c shifts out of his favor.  Harvey and the actress point fingers in a house of mirrors.

0042 Hazony writes of marxism as the end of democracy.

It is really the end of sanity.

Why do French liberals (aka, “old time democrats”) and American liberals (aka, “tea party republicans”) find common cause in 2020?

They both gaze into the house of mirrors that is postmodern modernism.

There is one encouraging feature about the current scene.  American academics, hatching the mantis eggs of the Frankfurt school, succinctly articulate their ever-expanding agendas.  Hazony comes close to appreciating the paradox, where any asymmetric relation within the organization tierB may be interpreted as systemic oppression2c.  If this actuality2c is true and if the organization tierB is full of asymmetric relations (not just full, but bursting with them), then systemic oppression2c is everywhere, except for once-liberal institutions under the control of marxists2b.

0043 What a joke.

InstitutionscC contextualize organizationsB.  InstitutionscC justify organizationsB on the basis of righteousness2a.  Marxists act as if they are institutionscC without the trappings of an organizationB.  Yet, organized they are.  They demand sovereign power3b in order to achieve the organizational goals2b that actualize their slogans2a.  Harvey Winerock and the movie actress both exemplify the exceptional character of marxists.  They are exempt from the marxist critique2c because they self-identify as marxists.

Harvey is promoted by other marxists within the studio system, just as homosexual priests promote their confreres, actresses promote their marxist causes, and public school teachers protest for better wages, in order to get better working conditions.  No, nobody here engages in asymmetric relations that characterize the organization tierB.  Instead, the avatars of the “be little men” movement say that men must become aware how systemic oppression is built into their life, their liberty and their pursuit of happiness.

No, marxists cannot see their reflections in the mirror of the world3a, because their illumination2c is supposed to be reflected in the mirror of the world3a.  They see their illuminance2c, not themselves, in their slogans2a.

 0044 Academic postmodern marxist disciplines are inquiries into how this or that asymmetric relation in the organization tierB somehow causes (is contiguous with) a relation between oppressor and oppressed2c.   Marxists destroy once-liberal civic institutions from within, simply by identifying and promoting others who are self-identified victims (and extollers2a) of particular types of systemic oppression2c.  Indeed, their organizational objectives2b force others into submitting1b to slogans2a that assign guilt for participation in systemic oppression1a.

0045 Ultimately, sovereign power3b is required in order to promulgate their organizational objectives2b.  And, this is the ultimatum that Hazony fears.  What happens when marxists gain control of the levers of state power?

Yoram Hazony’s article is an intimation of what will be exposed when conservative, Christian and nationalist citizens challenge Big Government (il)Liberalism, the hidden and the complete perversion of the Enlightenment tradition.

0046  Five related works are available at www.smashwords.com.

A Primer on the Category Based Nested Form

A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction

How To Define the Word “Religion”

A Primer on the Family

A Primer on the Organization Tier (First and Second)

09/8/20

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism” (Part 5)

0031 From the masterwork, How To Define the Word “Religion“, one finds that there are three tiers to the presence underlying the word, “religion”.

They are the societyC, organizationB and the individual in communityA.

The society tierC puts the organization tierB into perspective.  The organization tierB emerges from (and situates) the individual in communityA.

Each tier is diagrammed as a three-level interscope.

0032 So, let me talk business.

When an young individual in communityA enters the organization tierB, by going to work, “he” engages a number of asymmetric relations.

How does a young personA navigate these relationsB?

Obviously, the individual in communityA relies on what “he” has been taught.

0033 American classical liberals teach that the individual should have a dream2a.

French classical liberals instruct the individual with tropes about equality, freedom and human brotherhood2a.  These expectations2a encourage asymmetric business relations to be “win-win”.

Marxist (il)liberals indoctrinate slogans raising awareness of how asymmetric relations between individuals somehow cause (are contiguous with) systemic oppression2a.

0034 Liberalism offers a dream.  Marxism offers a nightmare.  Choose your false consciousness.

0035 Hazony describes the pairing as a dance.  In this dance, one party negates the other.  Thus, the dance is more like the mating ritual between the male and the female praying mantis.  The dance ends when liberalism gets devoured as food for the fertilized egg sacs of marxism.  Afterwards, an all-consuming fecund marxism dies from her own contradictions, in the winter of her totalizing reign.

0036 Why do I say this?

Compare the perspective-level actualities2c for American enlightenment and postmodern marxism.

Figure 10

0037 When the American enlightenment is reflected in the mirror of the world3a, slogans2a call for individuation1b.  The asymmetric relations characterizing the organization tier are depicted as opportunities and hazards for fashioning a dream2a based on one’s talents and dispositions1a.  When confronted with oppressors, the individual should learn how to detect, avoid and escape.  When confronted with mentors, the individual should figure ways to flourish.

0038 Indeed, in America, opportunities1b for success are manifold, ask any movie actress2b promoted by the notorious Harvey Winerock, who turns out to be a postmodern marxist2a,b,c.

In contrast, millions of less-promoted actresses now live in movies of their own, the comedies and tragedies of life in the family2aB, the traditional portal to the organization tierB.  For every one actress who reaches an accommodation2b with Harvey, by playing through his disgusting game1b, millions of women discover that the asymmetric relations inherent in the family realize2b their dreams2a.

Who should be teaching whom?

Surely, a Hollywood actress stands in asymmetric relation to innumerable mothers, among others.

So, what does she preach?

Marxist slogans2a?

Why?

In order to attain her dream2b, she is required to become so oppressed2c that she cannot recognize herself as an oppressor2c.  She lives out the scientific truth of marxism2c. She submits1b and receives both rewards and marxist illumination2b.

0039 Why are so many civic institutions of American liberalism now controlled by marxists?

The marxist perspective translates the asymmetric relations of the organization tierB into the languages of oppressor and oppressed.  Mirroring this perspective2c, slogans2a emerge from a righteousness1a that demands submission of the oppressors1b.  One party in all asymmetric relationsB is already guilty of oppression1a on the basis of participation in the system.  That party cannot be the marxist, who represents the oppressed.

By definition, the oppressed2c, such as Harvey Winerock and the Hollywood actress, are exempt because each is a marxist occupying a powerful position in a once civic, now marxist, institution.  Each, in his and her own way, is a victim in an asymmetric relation with a more powerful individual.

For the actress, that more powerful individual is Harvey.

For Harvey, that more powerful individual is the one who bought his soul.

09/7/20

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism” (Part 4)

0025 Hazony points to the obvious.  Humans evolve in social circles where there are many relationships between a more powerful individual and a less powerful one, starting with mom, dad and their children.  The organizational structure of this foundational institution is discussed in A Primer on the Family.

0026 The family starts in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  So, there is more.

We must add the unconstrained social and labor specializations that characterize our current Lebenswelt.

Our current Lebenswelt is not the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

0027 The organizational structures of civilizationB is a topic worthy of consideration.  The institutionaC and sovereignbClevels of the society tierC contextualize the organization tierB.  The organization tierB encompasses productionaB, exchangebB and assessmentcB.  The organization tierB emerges from (and situates) the individual in communityA.

Too bad inquiry into the organization tierB is yet to be initiated.

Advancements are blocked by marxist theory, in its various guises.  Marxist theory offers a “scientific” model that forecloses intellectual exploration of the organizations tierB.

0028 The model goes like this:

The diverse relations between more powerful and less powerful individuals in the organization tierB are equivalent to the relation between oppressors and oppressed.

The two are more than equivalent.  They are contiguous.

Figure 8

0029 What does contiguity imply?

Peirce’s category of secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.  The contiguity is not a real element, it is the substance that causally binds the two real elements.  The marxist substance carries the character of equivalence, but that is not enough.  Ask any marxist.  The causality is systemic.

Anyone who disagrees speaks with what Jacques Lacan callsthe master’s discourse.  Here is the oppressor.

Anyone who agrees speaks, to me3b, in discourses that Lacan labels, hysteric (for some) and scientific (for others).  For the most part, I find it hard to tell the difference.  I suppose the label depends on the slogan2a.   Each slogan2a addresses the one who asks what does this mean to me3b.

“Me3b” is a placeholder, virtually situating the person’s reflection3b in the marxist mirror of the world3a.

0030 Oppressed? Or oppressor?  Find a location within the abundance of asymmetric relations contained within the organization tierB.

Here is a diagram of the marxist interscope, as far as this discussion sees.

09/5/20

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism” (Part 3)

0014 Part 3 concerns the attractions and power of marxism.

The individual is attracted to classical liberalism.

The discontented are attracted to marxist (il)liberalism.

The current iteration of marxist religion is Big Government (il)Liberalism (BG(il)L).

0015 What do marxists have that liberals do not?

Here is a picture of the marxist’s sensible construction

Figure 6

0016 Where is the perspective levelc?

Is it too horrible to view?

The Enlightenment perspective-level actuality (equality, freedom and fraternity2c) addresses three important aspects of human sociality in our current Lebenswelt.

0017 According to Marx, these are not sufficient.

What else is required?

First (A), people form cohesive classes or groups.  May I call them, “institutions”?  Second (B) these classes or groups invariably oppress and exploit one another, culminating in one (the state) enforcing order.  Third (C), the state eventually functions as an instrument of the oppressing class.

0018 Weirdly, Marx’s insight is captured in the chapter on presence in the masterwork, How To Define The Word, “Religion”.   The three elements appear in the institution (content) and sovereign (situation) levels of the societyC tier.

Figure 7

0019 In theory, Enlightenment liberalism achieves order1b, while using the fewest official acts and decrees2b.  It cultivates personal commitments2a to life (equality), liberty (freedom) and the pursuit of happiness (fraternity)2c.  Civic culture consists of various fraternal institutions3a, some Christian (“religious”) and some not Christian (“not religious”)1a, pursuing diverse objectives2a.

Righteousness1a does not arise from within Enlightenment liberalism.  Rather, Enlightenment liberalism is conducive to a wide variety of inspirations.  Liberal righteousness1a demands that each individual pursues opportunities1b offered by competing civic institutions3a according to their talents and dispositions1a.

0020 In contrast, the Marxist vision proposes that a number of otherwise civic institutions3a (A) will pursue organizational objectives2a (B) that require official acts and decrees2b for their implementation1b (C).

0021 Hazony offers examples.

Ideally, public education should be implemented through a general decree stating that all individuals over a certain age must pass a civic exam in order to gain citizenship.  The exam would be offered by (not one but) a suite of competing voluntary institutions, each operating with transparency due to competition.  Education may be subsidized by vouchers to parents.

In practice, modern education engages unionized teachers (A) who demand a monopoly over “public” instruction and examination, as well as a host of other organizational objectives (B), that require state enforcement through official decrees (C).

In sum, Big Government (il)Liberal education exemplifies the Marxist vision.

0022 Hazony offers other examples.  But, the point is clear.  Marxist righteousness1a sensibly constructs organizational objectives2b, that, on one hand, arise from directly from the potential of submission by a target (individuals or institutions)1b, and, on the other hand, are virtually situated by official acts and decrees2b in the sensible construction of societyC.

0023 One reason why Marxist ideas are so attractive is that they promote a righteousness1a that both demands submission from others1b and entangles sovereign power3b.

The task of identifying like-minded individuals is relatively easy, since conservatives, Christians, nationalists and (above all) enlightened liberals espouse other styles of righteousness1a.  All institutions in a modern civic society are vulnerable to infiltration by marxists.

In sum, marxists can easily identify one another, selectively promote one another, and humiliate perceived competition within each institution.  Those who are not marxist within each institution are increasingly expected to toe the party line and to promote entanglements with sovereign power.

0024 Amazingly, Enlightenment liberals find themselves dispossessed by the very institutions that they built.

Does this imply that the marxists hold a perspective-level actuality2c that (if you will excuse the pun) trumps equality, freedom and fraternity2c?

Hazony does not directly raise this question.

He does so, indirectly.

He discusses the flaws that make marxism fatal.

09/4/20

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism” (Part 2)

0005 How should I define the righteousness of the classical liberal?

The classical liberal entertains a perspectivec that occludes the foundational world of Christianity.  The classical liberal extols3c equality, freedom and fraternity2c.  These2c are the means to human fulfillment1c.

The American Bill of Rights declares life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Equality is the right to life and justice.  Freedom is the liberty to make one’s own choices.  Fraternity involves private property.  One must own the possessions that one shares with family, friends, teammates and other social circles.  Otherwise, one usurps.

0006 The classic liberal perspective-level nested form looks like this.

Figure 2

0007 Surely, this perspectivec level does not contextualize marxist contenta and situationb levels.

Why?

Hazony speaks of two steps.  In the first step, the Enlightenment covers up Christianity.  In the second step, Marxism occludes the Enlightenment.

So, let me start at the first step.

Christian social virtues describe what God reveals about human sociality.  Saint Paul discusses equality in his letters. Christ frees humans from the chains of original sin.  The body of Christ, the Church, possesses an object that brings all into relation.  Finally, all these actualities emerge from the potential that a human can attain eternal life with God, the ultimate fulfillment.

The Enlightenment makes these virtues immanent.

0008 What does this immanence entail?

How does the Enlightenment perspective play into situation and content levels?

0009 First, let me simply slide the normal contexts of the situationb and contenta levels of the marxist sensible construction underneath the Enlightenment perspectivec level.  Here is the resulting three-level interscope, a relational structure discussed in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

Figure 3

0010 Second, I fill in the blanks.

The content level actuality2a turns extols3c into a dream2a, an object associating with an individual’s future, choices and companions. The individual’s dream2a arises from talents and dispositions1a.

What possibility1b situates the individual’s dream2a?

Of course, there must be opportunity1b.

Then, with hard work and luck, one realizes2b that dream2a.

0011 This sounds so American.  Here is the interscope.

Figure 4

0012 The French Enlightenment, on the other hand, rots as it ripens.  Unlike eighteenth-century America, France is loaded with god-defying intellectuals, salon-attending little royals and cunning lawyers, who dream of running political affairs without the burden of king and church. They have talents and dispositions1a toward promoting organizational objectives2bbased on reason1b.  Reason1b gives opportunity to righteousness1a.  As such, their dreams2b,2a are tautological.

The Marxist frame, perceptively delineated by Hazony, develops in situ within French Enlightenment civilization.  The sarcastic godless intellectuals, self-absorbed gossip-bearing little nobles and the reason-worshipping lawyers consider themselves to oppressed by the oppressors, king and church.  King and church express a false consciousness.  The system works for them, not everyone else, especially the discontented.  Revolution will reconstitute society and the inherent ironies of the present regime will disappear.

0013 Here is a diagram.

Figure 5
09/3/20

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism” (Part 1)

0001 Yoram Hazony publishes a six part opinion piece, concerning the relation between Enlightenment traditions and Marxism. on August 16, 2020, in the Quillette website (http://vlt.tc/41uo).  The essay is eye-catching for its portrayal of the capture of liberal institutions by marxists (now, with a small “m”) during the past three-score years.  Marx is back in a big way.

0002 In the prior blog, discussing the Be Little Men movement, two actualities come to the fore.  The first is a slogan2a, based on righteousness1a, that addresses the mirror of the world3a.  The second is an organizational objective2b, telling what the slogan means to the marxist3b.  This objectorg2b arises from the possibility of submission1b.  Submission1bvirtually situates (and emerges from) marxist righteousness1a.

0003 Here is a picture of the two-level interscope, composed of two nested forms, following the style in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.

0004 According to Hazony, marxists have infiltrated American media companies, universities, government bureaucracies, courts, so-called profits, so-called non-profits and churches.  Classical liberals have lost control of their own institutions. Classical liberals do not have the intellectual or spiritual resources to combat the threat.

09/2/20

The Two Actualities of the “Be Little Men” Movement

0001 Sociology is often a curious field of inquiry. In the mirror of the world3, there is only one Be Little Men movement (blm).  Blm is a slogan2.  No substitutions to these words are allowed.  The potential1 underlying the slogan2 is fixed on the only possibility among a sea of possible meanings, presences and messages.  That potential is the possibility of marxist righteousness1.

Here is a picture of a triadic relation, as introduced in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.

Figure 1

0002 What is marxist righteousness1?

Marx is a “communist” who names his enemy, the “capitalist”.

The specter of “capitalism”?

Das Kapital?

The root word for “capital” is “head”.

Wrap your cap around that.

0003 Marxist righteousness1 relies on the emptiness of spoken words.  A speech-alone word is merely a placeholder in a system of differences.  Meaning, presence and message must be projected into each spoken word.  The marxist reserves the right to project that meaning, presence and message.

Allow no substitutes.

Substitutions squander the purity of the projection.

0004 What does this mean to me3?

This is what the target of a marxist slogan never asks.

The slogan isolates the guilty.

Originally, the capitalist is the one upon which marxist righteousness descends.  The target is guilty, with no option of managing the label, except through submission1.  Indeed, the organizational objective2 is to manifest submission1.

Now, other labels serve as slogans2a.

This second nested form situates the first nested form, as described in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

Figure 2

0005 There are two blms.  On the content level, blm is a slogan2a emerging from (and situating) righteousness1a.  On the situation level, blm manifests organizational objectives2b that actualize the potential of submission1b, thus increasing the wealth, power and overall prowess3b of those reflecting the mirror of the world3a.

According to rumors, advertisers in saavy suites say that executive suits of major corporations donate large sums1b to an organization2b whose namesake is the slogan2a.  Other, less well-endowed targets are suited up as scapegoats, following the historic and literary patterns noted by Rene Girard.  Marxist righteousness projects a lack, held within the accuser, upon a scapegoat, the target.

0006 Yes, by definition1a, certain types can never submit1b.  These characters are magically gifted with the power to create the lack that they are accused of1a as well as the standing to fill that lack with their own… shall I say?.. capitals1b.

0007 Is marxism a modern version of an ancient religion?

Surely, early civilizations sacrifice humans to their gods.

Remember the old adage?

A capitalist will sell the communist the rope to hang himself.

The joke works as long as the target does not comprehend the intent of the customer.

Why would anyone hang the fellow who sold “him” some rope?

Marxist righteousness calls the fellow, a “capitalist”.

The seller’s hanging manifests the realness of the marxist’s organizational objectives1b.

In the same way, ritual sacrifice validates the realness of ancient deities.

0008 What else does this imply?

The target is not privy to what does this mean to me3b.  The deadly earnestness of marxist submission1b cannot be appreciated from the outside.  The above two-level interscope is sensible only from the inside.  The insider holds the secret knowledge3a that secures the slogan’s single possible meaning, presence and message1a.

If a gnostic path blossoms into a social movement, such as the be little men movement, then today’s secular academic sociologists include the topic in their regional and global meetings, showcasing how they are in tune with the emerging secret knowledge.  They can explain it.  They can write books about it.  They can explore its righteousness1a, explicate its slogans2a, develop pathways for submission1b and extol its authority2b.  They can conduct surveys in order to show how a slogan has struck a cord in social consciousness3a.  They can tell all how the insider feels3b.

0009 Modern sociology is such a curious field of inquiry.  It poses as a mirror3a of the worldc.  As such, it constructs its own sensible approach, in the same fashion as marxist religions.

0010  Five related works are available at www.smashwords.com.

A Primer on the Category Based Nested Form

A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction

How To Define the Word “Religion”

Comments on Eric Santner’s Book (2016) “The Weight of All Flesh”

Comments on Peter Burfeind’s Book (2014) Gnostic America

08/25/20

Catholics Defend Adam Against Darwin: A Pitch

To date, it seems that Catholics have flown a white flag to scientism, especially when it comes to human evolution.  Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., strikes back, in a 2018 article appearing in the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.  This well-trained biologist delivers a blistering attack on the anti-essentialism of science.

Strangely, he locates an essence for the human in a 2016 book by two modern academics.  Why Only Us? is authored by two Harvard professors, Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky.  The first works on computer models for language.  The second is a famously political linguist.

Comments are in order.  However, in a blink of an eye for the world of academics, Marie George flexes her erudition by taking Austriaco to task on his interpretations of Thomas Aquinas.  She hands the Dominican a tar baby of scholastic qualifications.

Academic quarrels do not get better than this. Instead of one commentary, three are necessary, one for Marie George, one for Nicanor Austriaco OP, plus one for Berwick and Chomsky.  The category-based nested form and the first singularity offer insights not available to any of these authors.

Christians need not defend Adam against Darwinism.  Rather, Christians have an option that reveals Adam within an evolutionary framework.  This is the drama of An Archaeology of the Fall.  This is the hypothesis of the first singularity. Our current Lebenswelt is not the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

The following are available at www.smashwords.com.

Comments on Nicanor Austriaco’s Essay (2018) “Adam After Darwin”

Comments on Marie George’s Essay (2020) “Aquinas’s Teachings on Concepts and Words”

Comments on Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky’s Book (2016) “Why Only Us?”

06/3/20

Comments on Edmund Chattoe-Brown’s Essay (2019) “Does Sociology Have Any Choice But To Be Evolutionary?”

— Notes on Text

This work examines an article by Edmund Chattoe-Brown, appearing in the Frontiers in Sociology (26 Feb 2019, https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2019.00006).  My comments rely on the category-based nested form and other relational models within the tradition of Charles Peirce.

‘Words that belong together’ are denoted by single quotes or italics.

Prerequisites: A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form, A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction

Recommended: The Human Niche, An Archaeology of the Fall, How to Define the Word “Religion”, Two Primers on the Organization Tier, Speculations on Thomistic Evolution

— Table of Contents

Introduction and Conclusion   0001

Cheese in the Middle    0004

The Sandwich is Firm   0010

Evolution and a Cheese Sandwich     0022

Conclusion    0029

— Introduction and Conclusion

0001 Edmund Chattoe-Brown opens with an observation.

Sociology, as an academic discipline, tends to rule out evolutionary approaches.

Surely, sociologists want to avoid any connection between social behavior and genes. Or, should I say, society and genetics?

Why?

First, it is not polite.

Second, anthropologists have already thrown in with Darwin.  Archaeologists are convinced of the importance of evolution in understanding where the world comes from and how humanity comes to be.  Any sociologist interested in evolution can go into anthropology.

Consequently, sociologists face a choice whether or not to adopt evolutionary approaches.

0002 Edmund Chattoe-Brown concludes his essay, asking “What can evolutionary accounts do for sociology?”

For one, let us not put the cart before the horse.  Sociology is not to be at the service of evolutionary accounts.  Just the opposite, evolutionary accounts should make sociology “fun”.  Sociologists should not walk on eggs when discussing evolutionary accounts.

But, what is an evolutionary account?  Descent with modification?  Natural selection?  Or does it always reduce to biology, innate dispositions and the reading of gene sequences?

For two, today, sociology is a jumble of eclectic approaches, making it difficult to define a disciplinary core.  What kinds of analysis do sociologists engage in?  Non-quantitative historical sociologists rely on one toolbox.  Social statisticians work from another, quantitative toolbox.  One provides diachronic insights.  The other offers synchronic results.

Well, evolutionary accounts have similar specializations.  For example, diachronic radionuclide dating of fossils and synchronic genetic surveys complement one another.

For three, evolutionary analysis is able to lay a foundation for both diachronic and synchronic approaches.

But, obviously, such evolutionary analysis is not biological.  Genes will have nothing to do with unifying sociological evolutionary theories.

So, what does the term, “evolution”, mean to sociology?

0003 I suppose that evolutionary analysis is like a horse, at the service of sociology.  Also, sociology is like a cart, held up by a wheel on either side.  One wheel is historical and qualitative.  The other wheel is statistical quantitative analysis.

Chattoe-Brown sits in the driver’s seat of this horse-pulled cart, driving out of the barn of the introduction and conclusion.

— Cheese in the Middle

0004 Okay, my metaphors are goofy.  I hope that that will be a source of comfort and entertainment.

Chattoe-Brown’s introduction and conclusion act like two slices of bread.  In the middle, he places the Agent-Based Model (ABM).

The idea of an agent appeals to the theoretical inclinations of the historical sociologist.

The ABM allows the narrow numerical focus of the statistical side of sociology.

Does that mean that the ABM will contribute to evolutionary approaches?

I defer an answer.

0005 I ask, “How does the ABM fit into the category-based nested form?”

In order to answer, I draw upon A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form and A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.  These short pieces are enough to build a bridge between an ABM and an evolutionary approach.

0006 What does it mean to be an agent?

Well, an agent does “things”, broadly defined.  These things are actions that, ideally, can be qualitatively observed and quantifiably measured.  A bare-bones survey asks three questions.  What is happening?  What are you doing?  Why are you doing what you are doing?

In the synchronic moment, an agent acts2, in the normal context of what is happening3, upon the possibilities inherent in accomplishing ‘something’1.

Here is a picture of this content-level nested form.

Figure 1

0007 What does the term, “agent-based model” indicate?

Well, an agent does things. What is happening3 defines the content levela of an interscope.

 In addition to what is happening3a, an agent has the potential1 to situateb what he or she is doing2a.  This assessment1brelies on what I am supposed to do2b.  This assessment2b occurs in the normal context of what does it mean to me3b.

For sensible construction, what I am supposed to be doing2b better make sense2b.  These elements are both real and contiguous.

Here is a picture of this situation-level nested form.

Figure 2

0008 The situation-levelb actuality2 takes on the complete, dyadic structure of Peirce’s secondness.  The category of secondness is the realm of actuality.  Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.  For the agent who models “his” own actions, the two real elements are making sense2b and what I am supposed to do2b.

The nomenclature looks like this: making sense2b [contiguity] what I am supposed to do2b.

The term, “contiguity”, typically means contact, attachment, dependency, sharing, holding together, two closely timed events and so forth.  Contiguity expresses causation, in the broadest sense.

The empirical sciences try to relate contiguity to material or force-field causation.  For example, iron filings on a sheet of paper align to the magnetic field of a magnet beneath the paper.  A magnetic field causes the iron filings to align.  The notation is magnet [contiguity] iron filings.  The contiguity is the magnetic field.  The contiguity is the point of interest for physicists.  They aim to mechanically and mathematically model this field.

What about the contiguity between making sense2b and what I am supposed to do2b?

The contiguity between these two real elements is yet to be articulated.

Still, the sociological imagination should already be engaged.  Humans always make sense2b of what they are supposed to be doing2b, even when their behavior makes no sense at all, to a so-called “disinterested” observer.

0009 Situationb virtually emerges from (and situates) contenta.

Together, they compose a two-level interscope.

Sensible construction is the hallmark of the two-level interscope.

Here is a picture of these two levels.

Figure 3

— The Sandwich is Firm

0010 So far, I imagine that an agent is an individual in community.

I am disabused of this notion with Chattoe-Brown’s first example.  The agent is a business firm.

Does a firm fit the picture of what an agent does2a and what an agent models2b?

Well, I suppose some translation is necessary.

0011 I start with the content level.

How does a business firm compare to an individual in community?

Here is my guess.

Figure 4

0012 The business firm obviously belongs to a different tier than the individual in community.  The relation among tiers follows the same pattern as the interscope.  The organization tierB emerges from (and situates) the individual in community tierA.

Nevertheless, there are parallels in the relational structures.

Management3aB ought to know what is happening3aA in the firm.  Sometimes, it3aB does not.

Production2aB strives to accomplish what must be done2aA.  This necessitates cooperative action.  Cooperative action increases productive capacity.

Does management2aB know this?

If they don’t, then human resources1aB should tell them3aB.  If the firm is not running smoothly, capital1aB is not put to best use.

There is a certain irony in the location of both labor support1aB and capital1aB.  Typically, labor associates to production2aB, the actualization of financial capital1aB.  However, labor2aB also comes with its own human capital1aB, which may or may not be utilized by a firm3aB.

Surely, this is an opportunity for sociological research.  What is the nature of human capital1aB?  Can human capital1aB be treated in a fashion that complements financial capital1aB?  

0013 What about a comparison of the situation levels between the firmbB and the individual in communitybA?

Figure 5

0014 This comparison touches base with Chattoe-Brown’s example of sales and price.

The firm3bB places products2bB onto a market1bB.  If the products do not sell2bB at a given price2bB, then the situation becomes dire for the entire firm.  In 1950, the economist, Armen Alchian, discusses a discontinuity between individualsAand firmsB.  The stakes are higher for firms, even though no one dies when a firm goes bankrupt.

Yes, the death of a firm seems so much larger than an individual’s fate.  Many individuals have done what they are supposed to do2bA, working at the firm3aB.  Suddenly, the firm no longer makes sense2bA.  A dream becomes a nightmare.

0015 The market is like an actuality independent of the firm.

Can a firm be considered an adaptation into a market niche?

Does that sound evolutionary?

What is a niche?

The following diagram presents Darwinian evolution as a sensible construction.

Figure 6

0016 The normal context of natural selection3b’ brings the actuality of an adaptation2b’ into relation with a niche1b’.  A niche is the potential1b’ of an actuality independent of the adapting species2a’.  

By comparison, a firm is an adapting species.  The actuality independent of the adapting species2a’, is the market.  The market2a’ is as changable as an evnironment2a’ or ecology2a’.  However, the biological terms do not capture the character of the market2a’, because the market is both material and immaterial.  The market plays upon what is real and what is imagined.  The Germans formulated a word that captures the market2a’ as a quixotic being.  The term is “Zeitgeist”.

Time is real.  Ghosts are unreal.

No wonder ancient civilizations worship the space between earth and heaven.  The god of the air, the wind, the cloud and the storm works under various names, including Yaltaboath.  Yaltaboath behaves like the actuality underlying the niche that any corporation adapts to.  Is Yaltaboath the personification of the open market’s multiplicity of specializations?  What about the market’s creative destruction?

0017 And, what about the times before civilization?

What about the era before business firms?

Is our current Lebenswelt the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in?

Consider An Archaeology of the Fall.

Okay, that’s a plug.

The contemporary firm belongs to our current Lebenswelt.

0018 Chattoe-Brown’s example of the firm as an agent-based model brings me right to the threshold of evolutionary theory.  The civilizational Zeitgeist is as fickle as Yaltaboath.  Change is in the air we breathe.  Yet, at the same time, each civilizational Zeitgeist lasts long enough to establish firms and profit from their endeavors.  Yaltaboath rewards as well as punishes. Attending to this god makes sense.

0019 So, let me go back to the previous figure.  Let me summarize.

How does natural selection3b’ work?

An actuality independent of the adapting species2a’ exists.

This actuality2a’ has a potential that can be exploited by the adapting species1b’.  This potential is called the niche1b’.

An adaptation2b’ exploits its niche1b’, leading to increased reproductive success in natural selection3b’.

0020 How does the business firm, as an agent-based model, fit into this picture?

The situation-level of the firm is the adapting species2b’.  The market is the actuality independent of the adapting species2a’.  So, the niche1b’ is the potential of the market2a’.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 7

0021 So, the content-levela of the firmB does not even appear in an evolutionary approach.  It is as if the abilities of management3aB, production2aB and support staff1aB are assumed to be functional.  The sales department1bB situates its product2aB as something that offers an advantage in the current market1b’.  Every product2aB fills a market niche1b’.

Just as every adaptation is a guess about how to exploit a niche, every firm speculates about the market that operates independently of the firm.

Of course, this must be a first approximation.  A second approximation will be required, because the presence of the firm itself may alter the market.

— Evolution and a Cheese Sandwich

0022 So far, the agent-based model is the cheese between the bread of the introduction and the bread of the conclusion.  As it turns out, the agent-based model may be re-articulated as a two-level interscope.  The two-level interscope is synchronic.  The two-level interscope expresses sensible construction.  The two-level interscope belongs to the organization tierB, which has parallels to the individual in community tierA.

Here is how that looks for firms.

Figure 8

0023 Plus, there is a diachronic, evolutionary twist.

For firms, the entire nested form for the situation levelb goes into the slot for adaptation2b’ in Darwinian evolution.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 9

0024 If sociology has no choice but to be evolutionary, then this double vision cannot be avoided.

The situation-level of a firmbB must be analyzed as it emerges from (and situates) its corporate content-levelaB.  To me, this analysis includes synchronic data and time-restricted models, typical of quantitative sociology.

The situation-level of a firmbB must also be pictured as an adaptation2b’ into a market niche1b’, where the market2a’ is (on first approximation) independent of the adapting species. (The second approximation brings in the idea of niche construction).  This drama is depicted in historical sociology.

Surely, the double vision cannot be resolved into one, even though both start with the relational structure of the agent-based model.

0025 With this said, I proceed to Chattoe-Brown’s second example of agent-based modeling: foraging.

He dwells for three sections on a case study for foraging for food.

Perhaps, the simulation applies to elk, in addition to ancestral hominins.

Is that a far cry from firms?

After all, the agent-based model starts with a two-level interscope of individuals in community.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 10

0026 This raises an odd question, “Does the individual adapt, in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, in the same way as the firm adapts in our current Lebenswelt?

In our current Lebensweltthe firmb’ adapts to the potential of the market2a’.  The market offers rewards (and punishments) in the milieu of unconstrained social complexity.  The behavior of a firm allows agent-based modeling to the extent that the Zeitgeist remains sensible.

Does this parallel human evolution?

0027 Consider the key hypothesis presented in the masterwork, The Human Niche.

In the Lebenswelt that we evolved inthe situation level of the individual in communityb’ adapts to the potential1b’ of triadic relations2a’.  Triadic relations offer opportunities for sign-coordinated cooperative actions.  Surely, the milieu is constrained social complexity. The innate behavior of individuals allows agent based-modeling to the extent that ecology remains stable.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 11

0028 This raises interesting questions.

Do markets2a’ and triadic relations2a’ have common characteristics?

My impression?

The more diverse the market and the more diverse the sign-relations, the greater the “wealth” of organizationsB and individuals in communityA, respectively.

0026 Is there a homology between the adaptations of firms and individuals in community?

Here is a comparison of the two situation-level nested forms.

Figure 12

0027 My impression?

A sale2bB matches what I am supposed to do2bA.

A price2bB points to making sense2bA.

What about the potential of situating production1bB?

The sales department echoes an individual trying to situate what “he” is doing1bA.

No wonder everyone seems to be selling themselves.

The resonances multiply. 

Individuals in communityA enter into the market2a’.

Individuals in communityA also enter into management3a, production2a and support for a corporation1a.

So, the organization tierB and the individual in community tierA are entangled.

0028 Does that suggest that Chattoe-Brown’s cart is going out of its lane or that the cheese sandwich melts?

No.  But, it does imply that genetics has nothing to do with the way sociologists investigate the organization tier.

Of course, biologists confound genetics and evolution.  They apply for grants on the grounds that genetics solves questions in evolution.  It does.  But, there is always another, often ignored, side to biological evolution.  That side is Darwinian natural selection.

Chattoe-Brown’s exercise in computer models concludes that both the environment and genetic-dispositions are in play in the evolution of foraging strategies.  However, these “genetic-dispositions” are not phenotypes, they are adaptations.

Geneticists can eat their cake and have it too.  Their cake is phenotypes.  But, they claim that phenotypes are the same as adaptations.

Sociologists must approach evolution in terms of Darwinian natural selection.  Institutions are adaptations.

— Conclusion

0029 Is there a disciplinary core to sociology?

According to Chattoe-Brown, not at this time.

Chattoe-Brown is an enterprising sociologist.  He tries to sell agent-based modeling as the portal to evolutionary approaches.  The gambit works because agent-based modeling is a symptom of human evolution and a feature of the organization tier.

Human evolution occurs in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, as illuminated in The Human Niche.

The organization tier differentiates from the society and the individual tiers in our current Lebenswelt, as portrayed in How to Define the Word “Religion”.

The transition from the first Lebenswelt to the second is a unique, prehistoric event, the first singularity, as captured in the fiction, An Archaeology of the Fall.

0030 Chattoe-Brown anticipates that evolution will provide a disciplinary core to sociology.

He may be correct in ways that he does not currently imagine.

There may be a parallel between the evolution of firms in our current Lebenswelt and the evolution of humans in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Here is a short list of comparing firmsB and individuals in communityA.

Figure 13
06/2/20

Comments on Edmund Chattoe-Brown’s Essay (2019) “Does Sociology Have Any Choice But To Be Evolutionary?” (Introduction)

Prof. Edmund Chattoe-Brown publishes a work in Frontiers of Sociology (26 Feb 2019; https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2109.00006)

He asks, “How will sociology eventually face topic of evolution?”

Well, at the moment, sociology does not face up to evolution.  In this, it ignores two important points.  First, social organization does not explain itself.  Second, social organizations are historical, therefore one must account for novelty and genuine change on the macro-level.

Chattoe-Brown proposes that Agent-Based Models may provide paths to packaging evolutionary theory for sociology.

In the next blog, I comment on this article.  I place these comments on my blog in order to introduce intrepid students and teachers to the style of the masterworks and commentary available at Smashwords.com.  The methodology is synthetic.  The results are astounding.

The comments on Chattoe-Brown’s essay start with a question, asking, “What does a sociologist mean by the word, ‘evolution’?”

Is evolution only about genetic changes over time?

Or, does evolution pertain to civilization and history?

What is the logical structure of evolution?

These are good questions.

For example, in economics, there is a clear connection between prices and sales.  Is this connection an adaptation?  If so, what is the niche?

For example, in sociology, there is a clear connection between “something that makes sense to me” and “the answer to the question, ‘what am I supposed to do?’”.  Is this connection an adaptation?  If so, what is the niche?

The comments in the next blog track Chattoe-Brown’s argument into the thicket of Agent-Based Models.  Institutions behave like individual humans.  They try to figure out normal contexts and potentials.  Agent-based models allow the inquirer to see parallels between the relational structures of organizations and individuals in community.

The comments touch base with three master-works.

The master-work, The Human Niche, argues that our genus adapts into the niche of triadic relations.  If this is so, then humans think in terms of triadic relations, such as the category-based nested form.  Do current agent-based models account for this?  Yes, they are structured according to category-based nested forms.

The master-work, An Archaeology of the Fall, proposes that our species underwent a fundamental cultural transition during the past 7820 years.  The first singularity potentiates unconstrained social complexity.  This is precisely what Sociology studies.

The master-work, How to Define the Word “Religion”, opens the door to inquiry into our current Lebenswelt.  Clearly, our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  Sociology investigates our current Lebenswelt.

In the long run, Sociology has no choice but to be evolutionary.

Sociology has a choice as to how to approach evolution.  Is it only a biological process?  Or does evolution follow a particular logic?  If so, then that same logic may apply to social change.  The category-based nested form may well be integral to how Sociology finds value in evolutionary concepts.