0016 To me, Singh’s three cultural selection schemas for malevolent magic recapitulate the scaffolding below them. Evilis a privation of good.
0017 Malevolent magic is like a figure in a mirror. It is not the good that stands before the mirror. Instead, it is a purely relational being that recapitulates the figure that stands before it. Something is wrong. Something is missing. There is nothing behind the surface of the mirror, even though the reflected image seems real. The reflected image seems to stand behind the surface of the mirror as if occupying space in a real world.
Can anyone see what is behind a mirror?
0018 Perhaps, this explains why Singh cannot see the magic of everyday life that both underlies and supports his expert statistical analysis. He cannot see through the glass upon which he stands. He looks down and sees the world above him, full of witches and sorcerers, instigators of mystical harm.
0019 Razie Mah’s comments associate features of Singh’s essay to elements in a category-based nested form. Singh’s argument retains its integrity, even as his vision is transubstantiated from a reflection into a real anthropological subject of interest. What is the nature of magic? Does magic touch base with the presence underlying the word, “religion”?
0020 Anthropologists take note.
Print out copies of Manvir Singh’s publication in Current Anthropology and Razie Mah’s Comments on Manvir Singh’s Essay (2021) “Magic, Evil and Explanations”.
Present the pair to a few graduate students, asking, “Which is real and which is fake?”
Is Anthropology a science? Or is it a discipline of interpretations?
0014 For example, a number of ladies in the community, noting that berries are in season, set out to collect several baskets. They perform the rituals of gathering to ensure success. Then they set out, chattering, as always. During the harvest, one mother is bit by a spider that no one can identify. After hastily returning, they bring the spider’s remains to the shaman.
The shaman is concerned. He makes a paste to put over the bite. The next morning, the woman is dead and the berries, left overnight in the baskets, are mysteriously rotted.
0010 Singh identifies two principle components to harmful magic, witchiness (PC1) and the evil eye (PC2).
What happens next?
0011 Singh proposes a model to account for the observation. The model consists of three schemes of cultural selection.
The first selection (F) is for intuitive techniques of harmful magic.
The second selection (G) is for plausible explanations of misfortune.
The third selection (H) is for myths that demonize a subgroup (in this case, sorcerers and witches).
0012 Singh misses the scaffolding beneath the glass that he stands on. His exposition is on malevolent magic. He does not seem to realize that malevolent magic recapitulates the open, generative magic of group living, including…
0005 Anthropology stands astride the narrower, more technical, disciplines of Sociology and Psychology.
Manvir Singh constructs a modern paradigm for a topic dear to Anthropology, but not to the narrower disciplines.
What is the nature of magic?
0006 Singh publishes the results of a Mystical Harm Survey, applied to 60 societies on the Probability Sample File of the electronic Human Relations Area Files. He uses principal component analysis to reduce forty-nine raw variables to two principal dimensions with the greatest variation.
Principal components? Greatest variation?
0007 Principal components are the dimensions with the greatest variation in a scatterplot.
Typically, principal component analysis shows variables that are relevant to the topic at hand.
For example, when considering mystical harm, one would expect significant variation between a common person and, say, a warlock, along some parameter that might be called, “warlockness”.
0008 Singh finds two parameters distinguishing common folk, sorcerers and witches. Witches are high in PC1 and low in PC2. Sorcerers are low in PC1 and high in PC2.
PC1 is witchiness. Witches fly, meet in secret in the forest on a full moon, suddenly appear and disappear, and so on. To me, witchiness is the embodiment of malicious magic. Witches not only perform magic, they live it.
PC2 is the evil eye. Sorcerers do not embody the magic that they perform. Instead, the magic resides in their gaze. The evil eye is a harmful mystical operation that signifies a whole range of magical works. The evil eye is the worst.
0009 Singh does not dwell on the seemingly philosophical distinction between embodiment and gaze. Neither do the anthropologists who are pleased with the scatterplot of PC1 and PC2 in Figure 1 (of the article). Anthropology looks like science.
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.
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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 calls, the 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.
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
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.
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?
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 extols3cequality, 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.
0007 Surely, this perspectivec level does not contextualize marxist contenta and situationb levels.
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.
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.
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.