Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 1 of 5)

0001 A chapter on Derrida appears in Michael Millerman’s Book (2020) Beginning with Heidegger: Strauss, Rorty, Derrida and Dugin and the Philosophical Constitution of the Political (Arktos Press), pages 135-166.  This fourth chapter considers the writings of the French Jacques Derrida (1930-2004 AD) concerning the German Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).

Millerman’s book consists of a long introduction, followed by chapters on Martin Heidegger, Leo Strauss, Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida and Alexander Dugin.  The latter chapters discuss what the other philosophers say about Heidegger.  The method sounds like a doctoral dissertation.

My interest, of course, is to associate features of the arguments to purely relational structures, such as the category-based nested form or the Greimas square.

0002 Here, I look only at chapter four entitled, “Derrida”.  Derrida comments on Heidegger in two notable incidents. First, Heidegger is mentioned in an essay comparing deconstruction to negative theology.  Second, Derrida writes an essay entitled, “Heidegger’s Ear”.

Millerman approaches the first incident with caution, asking (more or less), “Is it possible to see how Derrida locates himself in a different place than Heidegger?”

Locates himself?

In slang, the question is, “Where is he coming from?”

0003 Where is Derrida coming from?

The first incident of note is an essay by Derrida in a book, Derrida and Negative Theology, edited by Harold Coward and Toby Froshay (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992). The title of the essay is “How To Avoid Speaking: Denials”.  Here, Derrida responds to claims that deconstruction resembles negative theology.  He says no.  Apophatic mysticism is hyperessential.  Deconstruction is all about the machinations of language.

0004 Hyperessential?

In order to appreciate this comment in terms of purely relational structures.  I associate the above accusation and responseto Peirce’s category of secondness, the realm of actuality.  The category of secondness contains two contiguous real elements.  For Aristotle’s hylomorphe, the two real elements are matter and form.  I label the contiguity, [substance].  The nomenclature is matter [substance] form.

For apophatic mysticism, the form is the human, as a vessel, having emptied “himself” of all matters.

For deconstruction, I follow Ferdinand de Saussure’s (1857-1913 AD) definition of language as two arbitrarily related systems of differences, the spoken word (parole) and the corresponding thought (langue).  Parole corresponds to matter.  Langue corresponds to form.  [Arbitrary relation] serves as the contiguity.

0005 Here is a picture.

Figure 01

0006 Essence is substantiated form.

Derrida claims that negative theology is hyperessential.  This makes sense because the essence, {[emptiness] vessel2f}, has no corresponding esse_ce (a play on the Latin term, esse, representing [matter2m [substantiating]}.  As soon as matter appears in the slot, —-2m, then the contiguity becomes very difficult (if not impossible) to maintain, and something passes into the vessel, against all mystical admonishments saying, “Keep the vessel2f empty.”

Here is a picture of how esse_ce and essence play out in the realm of actuality2 for hylomorphism, apophatic mysticism and deconstruction.

Figure 02

Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 5 of 5)

0031 What about the second incident (point 0003)?

The next essay that Millerman reviews is titled, “Heidegger’s Ear”.

Here, Derrida waxes on a snippet in Heidegger’s book, Being and Time, that mentions the voice of a friend whom every Dasein carries with it.

0032 To me, if Heidegger’s leap really opens a vista into the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, then Heidegger would have used the word, “gesture”, rather than “voice”.

Or, maybe, the word, “voice” is okay, since, before the first singularity, humans practice hand-speech talk.  Two modes of talking co-exist.  Cultural tradition determines which mode is more appropriate for any particular social situation.

0033 Derrida reads German.  So, he has an ear for Heidegger.  German (B), like all spoken languages, carries a conceptual apparatus (D).  So, Heidegger must allow Derrida into his pact (B), concerning openness to an inception (C), that is like a concept, but is not a concept, because it complements a secret (A) that makes us present (Da-) to being itself (-Sein) (D).

Because Derrida speaks German, he must be a “friend”.  But, Derrida finds that naive, because he can also be an enemy.  Derrida figures out that, if you speak the same language, then you can share secrets.  Heidegger says “friend” in the most naive way, as if the word reflects a state before the duality of friends and enemies.  It seems to me that Derrida could be a real enemy who infiltrated behind the defenses of an opposing camp. And, he knows it.

Derrida is a dangerous philosopher.  Everyone respects Derrida.  Everyone fears deconstruction.  Derrida approaches Heidegger as a “friend”, who speaks the same language.  Derrida knows that the fraternal order of philosophy has splintered.  First, everyone is a companion (or a compatriot).  Then, everyone is either a friend or an enemy.  Heidegger marks this transition with a German word: Geschlect.

0034 According to Derrida, Geschlect is a “mark”, a sign of division, a yellow patch for some and no patch for others.  Well, maybe the patch can be sex, race, species, genus, status, genealogy or community.  The yellow/no patch dualityrelies on concepts (that is, explicit abstractions).  Yet, certain phenotypic and physical tags are inceptual (that is, implicit abstractions).  But, explicit abstractions end up justifying these implicit abstractions.

0035 Here, I can see the threat of Derrida’s genius.  Concepts, as utterances2m [carrying] information2fare manifestations of Saussure’s definition of spoken language, parole2m [arbitrary relation] langue2f.   This implies that the apparent mechanical substance corresponding to [carry] is really grounded in the slippery substance of [arbitrary relation].  This is the nature of sensible construction in speech-alone talk.

Here is how Derrida’s Greimas square manifests as sensible construction.

Figure 14

0036 What does Geschlect do?

Geschlect traverses the topolitology of secrets.  In the city of Geschlect, there is a factory, turning pre-political feelingsinto conceptualized divisions among people.  Today, that factory is called “modern politics”.  It is run by, for and of the government.  But, it claims to be by, for and of the People.  Compatriots become friends and enemies.

0037 The voice of the compatriot, Heidegger’s “friend”, is embedded in the constitution of the human.  Prior to the first singularity, hand-speech talk relies on manual-brachial gestures.  Solidarity is guaranteed by one’s gaze.  Someone who word-gestures a falsehood is immediately exposed as one’s enemy.  How so?  Manual-brachial gestures are defined by what they picture or point to.  Word-gestures do not define their referents.  They picture and point to them.

In contrast, spoken words do not picture or point to anything.

0038 After the first singularity, spoken language relies on our innate sensibilities until… labor and social specialization starts to spin explicit abstractions, like threads on a spool, and speech becomes something like a secret.  You have to know the relation between the utterance and the information, in order to be a member of the club.  So, the arbitrary relation between parole and langue slowly, irrevocably, weaves the threads into conceptual apparatuses.

Everyone who speaks the same language starts as a compatriot.  But, two parties emerge, ones who are in tune with the conceptual apparatus and the ones who still imagine that our words picture and point to their referents.

0039 Derrida discovers a secret within the secret.  The conceptual apparatus is mechanistic.  And, like all machines, it can be constructed differently.  So, deconstruction is a technique to shake the conceptual apparatus, in order to expose the arbitrariness of its relations.  Concepts divide us. Deconstructed concepts unnerve us.

Heidegger discovers the foundation of the secret.  The secret is a pact, where information is known only by us, and that pact cannot be articulated in speech-alone words.  Instead of a concept, where the utterance is a conspiracy, Heidegger proposes an incept, where the pact manifests as inspiration.  An incept draws us into one inspiration.

0040 Heidegger has a word that is translated as “both strife and accord”.  I suppose that strife labels the struggle to keep the vessel empty. I suppose that accord is the happy moment when the vessel is full.   The word is “Walten“. 

Or perhaps, Walten is the originating unity of two real elements.  Perhaps I can imagine that these elements are 2m and vessel2f.  So the unity or the contiguity is [empty].  But also, imagine the unity of …known only to us2m and vessel2f.  The contiguity is [fill].

Either way, the originating unity of two real elements is inceptual.

Figure 15

No one can open someone else to an inception.  Inception is where the seed of conviction germinates.  No political philosopher has a recipe for an inceptual institution of the theologico-political domain.  No one, except for Jesus, has torn the veil woven by explicit abstraction.  In contrast, many theologians and politicians have quested for a magical token that empowers the veil and strands us in the domain of conceptual apparatuses.

0041 In our cutthroat world of concepts, people cling to their worldviews, ridicule other worldviews, and fail to notice that their conceptual apparatuses have closed them off from their inceptual heritage.  Concepts pose as things that bring us into organization.  But, is organization all there is?

Of late, the United States of America has a humorous tradition in this regard.  They name legislative decrees with the conceptual apparatus that they are going to replace.  For example, in 2001, the so-called “Patriot Act” is legislated and signed into law.  Twenty years later, a surveillance-oriented bureaucracy identifies members of the “make America great again” movement as “domestic terrorists”.

Yes, the utterance of “domestic terrorists” institutes a concept that identifies patriots as enemies of thier surveillance state.

0042 What does this imply?

Is Walten like a secret, that is, information known only to us?

Then, as fast as I can say, “Geschlect.”, there are two parties.  One party focuses on information.  One party focuses on the “known only by us” business.

How can companions come together after established nomenclature turns everyone into either friends or enemies?  As politics invades all aspects of society, each person asks, “Which worldview do I belong to?”  Cognitive machinations hustle propaganda and apologetics.  Some people get carried away.  The last thing they want is to be cut from the pact.  No one wants to get cut.  Plus, true believers are willing to sacrifice others to their cause.

How does a people become a people?

I suppose that theologico-political topolitologies are required.

Plus, it seems as if the secret allows me to visualize the topolitology of a Walten, an originating unity of two realities.

Here is one reality, corresponding to “information…”.

Figure 16

0043 Here is the other element, corresponding to “…known only by us”.

Figure 17

When does a Walten solidify its current theologico-political domain?

An accord, seeking to be filled with a conceptual apparatus (D), leads to calcification and total domination.

When does a Walten liquify its current theologico-political domain?

A struggle to be open to being filled by God’s meaning, presence and message (H) leads to revelation and new life.

0044 To the extent that Derrida reads German, Derrida is Heidegger’s companion.

What does Derrida see?

Heidegger’s “friend” can speak as either friend or enemy.  Geschlect says, “You are either friend or enemy.”   Walten says, “Please, remain a companion.”

0045 In one fashion, Derrida’s and Heidegger’s theologico-political constructions mirror one another.

I suspect that Derrida stays his desconstructive hand in recognition of this reality.

In another fashion, these two theological-political constructions derive from a single, undifferentiated, realness, to which we, in our current Lebenswelt, can never return.

We need deconstruction to combat our march towards death by a totalizing conceptual apparatus.  

We need inception to seed the fields of our open minds.

In the chapter on Derrida, Millerman finds good reason to start with Heidegger.

Recognize the possibility.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Rorty” (Part 1 of 3)

0001 This chapter appears in Michael Millerman’s Book (2020) Beginning with Heidegger: Strauss, Rorty, Derrida and Dugin and the Philosophical Constitution of the Political (Arktos Press).  The composition of the book sends a message.  A forty-nine page introduction is labeled as a preface, complete with Roman numerals.  The first chapter covers Heidegger and stands in the center of the book.  Then, chapters two through five covers the responses of four political philosophers to Heidegger’s academic labors (as well as his political affiliation).

Richard Rorty is discussed in the third chapter.  This chapter serves as a transition from the weighty chapters on Heidegger and Strauss to the surprising chapters on Derrida and Dugin.

0002 Rorty offers a change of style.  Rorty is an American philosopher.  This pleases me, since I write like an American, too.  I roll, roll, roll down the river of literary endeavors.  My paddles are purely relational structures, such as the category-based nested form and the Greimas square.

Consequently, Millerman refers to movies, rather than books.  And, if books must be mentioned, then novels come first.

0003 Oh, I should add, the first novel comes from the pen of Cervantes.  Don Quixote marks the start of the Age of Ideas.  In seventeenth-century Spain, two movements coincide.  On one hand, Baroque scholastics finally articulate the causality inherent in sign-relations.  On the other hand, Cervantes creates a new literary genre.

Perhaps, these two hands belong to a single entity.  The novelist represents the scholastic behind the mask of modernity.  Like the heroic character in V for Vendetta, there is no removing the mask.  The Spanish innovator spins away from truth (the scholastics were all about mind-independent being) and leaps towards happiness (the novelists are all about mind-dependent beings).

Is it any surprise that, in the next century, France produces a revolution with a similar attitude?  Then, two centuries later, today’s social democratic politics perform the same routine.

0003 Richard Rorty wrestles with a strange duality.  Politics is contextualized by two distinct masters, truth and reality.  Politics emerges from the potential of good (which goes with truth) and the potential of what can be done (which goes with reality).

Here is a picture of two nested forms.

Figure 01

0004 Of course, Rorty wants to step away from truth3 and find happiness in reality3.  But, one cannot take the mask without the face or the face without the mask.  One cannot say, “Look at the mask without thinking about the face.”

Here is where Rorty flounders.  His social democratic politics tell him that viable options are the only things that matter. But, as a philosopher, he must face the question as to which options are good.

0005 In short, politics is a single actuality that is composed of two distinct nested forms.  Neither nested form can situate the other.  So, the actualities for both nested forms fuse, creating one single contradiction-filled actuality, as described in the chapter on message in Razie Mah’s masterwork, How To Define the Word “Religion”.

I call the following diagram, “an intersection”.

Figure 02

0006 Right away, I spy that the single actuality of politics2 veils two unspoken actualities that emerge from (and situate) the vertical and horizontal potentials.  These two actualites are overshone by politics2, in the same way that Mercury and Venus appear to disappear within the Sun in astrological conjunctions.  The technical term is “combustion”.

Here is a Greek parody of politics2.

Figure 03

0007 Yes, truth3V and reality3H exhibit different orbits around politics2.

According to Millerman, Rorty is a social democrat advocating for truthlessness and hopefulness.

0008 How does that statement mesh with the above intersection?  Rorty distains Heidegger’s romance with language and says that there is no such thing as a thing itself that can be put into language.  So forget esse_ces (beings substantiating) and essences (substantiated forms).  Indeed, forget righteousness.  The question is whether the thing is useful.  Or not.

At first, it seems that Rorty is only interested in the horizontal axis.

0009 But then, Rorty writes that there are three conceptions of the aim of philosophizing in the modern era.  These three are Husserl’s scientism, Heidegger’s poetics and Dewey’s pragmatism.  The latter two respond to the former.  Husserl idealizes scientists.  Heidegger extols poets.  Pragmatists, like Rorty, Dewey and James, prefer engineers.

Now, if I associate these embodiments into the above mystery, then I replace Mercury with the engineer and Venus with the poet, resulting the the following intersection.

Figure 04

0010 Once I diagram this, the contradictions become more apparent.  The Heideggerian venusian poet2V and the pragmatist mercurial engineer2H orbit an all encompassing solar politics2.  From the point of view of an astrologer, sometimes these inner planets run ahead of the solar presence, sometimes they lag behind the solar presence, and sometimes they are in conjunction with the solar presence.  Combustion!   The Sun’s transit through the constellations, plays this celestial drama over and over again, for those who watch the heavens.  For those who watch politics, the Earth orbits the sun.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Rorty” (Part 3 of 3)

0021 Of course, Heidegger would (if he could) return the insult, by calling Rorty a liberal propagandist.

After all, Rorty is not concerned with questions of truth3V, preferring issues concerning social consequences3H.

0022 Plus, Heidegger (if he could) would have regarded the imprisonment of Rorty and other social democratic philosophers as a matter of “petty details”.

Petty details?

In Heidegger’s view, the West has exhausted its options1H.  And, proof comes later in the title of Rorty’s book, Contingency, Irony and Solidarity.   Are these options?  Or, are they signs of exhaustion?  Compare that title to Being and Time.

0023 The squishiness of the former title is made worse when Rorty’s dichotomy of choiceprivate versus public, appears to align with the potentials of good1V and options1H, respectively.  Is truth3V private?  Is reality3V public?  If so, then I ask, “Are these affirmations the poisonous fruits of the Treaty of Westphalia?”  The Treaty of Westphalia marks the start of the modern era, almost four hundred years ago.

Perhaps, Rorty inadvertently testifies to Heidegger’s proposition.  The West has exhausted its options1H.  Politics2 is the intersection of the actualities of reality3H and truth3V, arising from the potential of viable options1H and good1V.  Without a good1V, there are no options1H.  So, politics2 is dead.  But, our love (philo-) of wisdom (-sophy) endures.  So, it is only a matter of time before politics2 rises again.

Shout it from the rooftops!

Politics2 is dead.  Long live politics2.

0024 My thanks to Michael Millerman for his excellent chapter into how Rorty views Heidegger, chapter three in Beginning with Heidegger: Strauss, Rorty, Derrida and Dugin and the Philosophical Constitution of the Political (2020, Arktos Press, London), pages 97-134.


Looking at Carlo Vigano’s Speech (2020) “How the Revolution of Vatican II Serves the New World Order” (Part 1 of 14)

0001 The presentation under consideration appears in a book, titled A Voice In the Wilderness: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano On the Church, America, and the World, edited by Brian M. McCall and published in 2021 by Angelico Press, in Brooklyn NY.  The article is located at the end of Part II on pages 251 through 274.  It is a transcript of a speech given to the Catholic Identity Conference on October 24, 2020.  A video can be found on Remnant TV.

0002 The presentation is of interest as a follow-up to the June 2022 blog, Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance”.   It complements the professional path taken by Dr. Redpath, who now promotes online courses, teaching “uncommon” common sense.

0003 Indeed, Vigano’s talk can only be described as “uncommon”, in the same way that Redpath’s essay, published 20 years earlier, is uncommon.  Plus, Vigano’s talk expresses common sense in the same way that Redpath’s essay does.

0004 Here is the difficulty.

How does one portray a turn of events that makes no sense?

0005 Redpath portrays the history of Italian humanists, who jettison logic at the very start of their movement, and who end up subjugated to the deterministic (and incomplete) logic of empirio-schematics.

Perhaps, the European humanists did not see it coming.

A little mathematical and mechanical logic can overthrow no logic at all.

0006 Vigano fixes on the political stagehands behind the theatrics of Vatican II, who embed themselves in the matrix of positional authority in the traditional Church as the drama of the Novus Ordo unfolds into a lurid parody of historic Catholicism.

Perhaps, the participants of the Council of Vatican II did not see it coming.

A little political intrigue can overthrow the realm.

0007 No, it does not make sense.

0008 How can one make something that does not make sense make sense? 

Obviously, the word, “sense”, has two implications.  The first implication is that it is sensible.  The second implication is that it impacts our five senses.  That is, it is sensical.  Sensible is not the same as sensical.

Something that does not make sense is not sensible.

Something that one cannot see, hear, taste, smell and touch is not sensical.

0009 Here is the trick.

Through diagrams of triadic relations, something that is not sensible may become sensical.

0009 So, my examination transforms into a question, asking, “How can I associate features of Vigano’s argument to empty slots in purely relational triadic structures, such as the category-based nested form?”

That is my task.

0010 The following blogs rely on the three works listed below.  Each displays the synthetic process of association and implication.  Once I associate features of Vigano’s speech to elements in a category-based nested form, I consider the implications.

0011 The three works are available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  Search for the author, Razie Mah, along with the title.

A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form

A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction

How to Define the Word “Religion”

0012 Vigano’s presentation breaks into eleven sections.  Each is covered by a blog.  Then, a conclusion suggests other applications of Charles Peirce’s synthetic logic.


Looking at Carlo Vigano’s Speech (2021) “How the Revolution of Vatican II Serves the New World Order” (Part 14 of 14)

0092 The analogy in the previous blog brings me back, full circle, to the so-called spirit of Vatican II, as well as the title of Vigano’s speech.

Mercy is not the same as mercenary.  The Catholic elites of the time before Vatican II wanted to be accepted by their secular superiors, Big Government (il)Liberals. They wanted to be acknowledged by those-in-the-know so badly that they promulgated a new theology to mask a cruel exploitation.  That new theology alchemically dissolved and coagulated the sacraments into the open religion demanded by the wealthy and well-positioned purveyors of “the human brotherhood” and “the open society”.

This examination reveals that the Catholic elites, operating on the society tier, recapitulate the exploitation practiced by the financial elites in the organization tier.

0093 Students of political theology take note.

The alchemist says, “As above, so below.”

0094 Does the societal alchemic transmutation of the body of Christ2V into the human brotherhood2H and the kingdom of God2V into the open society2H have a parallel below, where well-funded organizations transmute our bodies as primal matter2V into products for sale2H and the labor of caring for human health2V into product-driven social arrangements2H?

0095 Intersections can be mysterious.

Intersections can also be cruel.

0096 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on the Church, America and the World is the subtitle for A Voice in The Wilderness,published by Angelico Press in 2021.  The presentation under examination appears on pages 251-274.  The speech is worth reading.

0097 How To Define the Word “Religion” is a masterwork by Razie Mah concerning political theology, one of the most disconcerting intellectual challenges of our current Lebenswelt.  This e-work is available at smashwords and other electronic book vendors.

0098 Plus, there is more.

Other electronic articles for sale may be found in the Intimations of Political Philosophy Series.

0099 In addition, recent blogs include the following.

Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance”, raziemah blog, June 2022

Looking at Thomas Michaud’s Article (2021) “Anatomy of the Progressive Revolution”, raziemah blog, May 2022

Looking at Josh Hammer’s Opinion Piece (2021) “…Experts”, raziemah blog, July 2021

Comments on Philip Marey’s Post (2021) “Insurrection”, raziemah blog, Jan 2021

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism”, raziemah blog, September 2020

Theology of the Deep State, raziemah blog, May 2020