An Introduction To Critical Theory From Someone That Doesn’t Know What Critical Theory Is
Generally speaking, the concept of ‘Enlightenment’ is a fantastically patched-up, unhistorical bastard made up of everything that the authors are outraged by: positivism, logic, deductive sciences, empirical sciences, capitalism, the rule of money, mass culture, liberalism and fascism. Their cultural criticism, however much it contains various […] pertinent remarks about the harmful effects of the commercialization of art, is clearly filled with a melancholy longing for a time when only an elite participated in the reception of art..
- Leszek Kołakowski
Till my last breath, I’ll have death before dishonor
And welcome drama, with open arms and a code of honor
- Big Pun
My business not something I can deal with you
- Top Grease
Have we ever hit the same bitch before, ain’t nobody know
Have we ever hit the same bitch before, ain’t nobody’s business
- Freddie Gibbs
Let us also remind ourselves of the fact that throughout the eighteenth century, which Kant, in Critique of Pure Reason, labeled “in especial degree, the age of criticism” and to which our use of “critique”, today remains largely indebted, critique was above all critique of prejudice and established authority, and hence was intimately tied to a conception of the human being as capable of self-thinking, hence autonomous, and free from religious and political authorities.
- Rodolphe Gasché
OK, so I finally understand Critical Theory. It’s a value system founded on Freudian imagery within Marxian structures.
The US, for contrast, is a value system founded by classic human values (values influenced by the Enlightenmentian continuation of Western Philosophical ideals) within various economic structures, depending on the feedback received by the ruling members.
We can delve into the difference between the two:
- Both critical theory and the US are ideological structures
- Critical theory’s structure is mostly theoretical and experimental, based on “critique”
- I’m probably forcing the issue but we can differentiate “critique” vs “analysis” because critique unnecessarily complicates things
- analysis is more sober appraisal
- Critique unnecessarily complicates things because it aims to create itself and it doesn’t have any form or function unless it successfully creates itself
- In saying this, I’m taking analysis to not be interested in the spectator. When an analysis it’s done, it’s against a standard system of measurement
- The critique is part function and part invention
- Analysis starts with the most simple conclusion, A = A
- Critique starts with the simple conclusion that A. To get to A = A, a critique has to invent it.
- Here we blur the line between the theoretical and the practical. We say A = A as a theoretical convention but usually your state of mind is the practical manifestation of A = A if you critique it.
- Without critiquing A, A does not equal A.
mmm..mmmm.. that some good shit
- Critical Theory, being a critique of itself, creates itself as a spectator and as an actor within what it critiques.
- This feedback loops allow for change thanks to the concept of “acquired taste”
- Ultimately value systems belong to aesthetics and thus we can critique our own values via acquiring taste
- The connection, A = A, the tunneling through from A to identity
- Non-sentient nonhuman animals or sentient animals within a spectrum have various relationships with analysis
- Humans may be the best to be able to think critically and not just analyze.
- We critique everyday and we analyze everyday. We analyze more than we critique.
- A sentient creature with no capacity to critique still has the capacity to analyze.
- A nonhuman sentient creature with capacity to critique may be able to change its own value system.
In Analytical Philosophy, you have a philosophy with an embedded framework of understanding and the objective to improve analysis. The framework is lazily defined as long as the analysis works. At the start of analytic philosophy, you had a revolution going on in math and science. The math and science from the 17th century was being formalized and growing to how we know them today. This formalization brought about atomic-reductionism. Where the systems of analysis were broken down to core elements working together to achieve our experiences. In science, we had chemical atoms. In math, axioms were re-utilized for disciplinary growth. Bertrand Russell (along with Leibniz and Wittgenstein and some other) entertained the thought of logical atoms. Science was atomized. You have different disciplines but you also have the disciplines broken down by theories and hypotheses that are subject to maturation and change. And thus even the way science is defined is a feedback loop based on the scientific method and its analysis that maintain its framework.
Within the growth of math as a discipline, eventually a lot of mathematical thought was broken down to axioms and how the axioms could relate to each other or to what extent could the axioms relate to each other. I’m not really sure the details but the gist of it is that eventually mathematicians came up with ZF set theory
as a way to study how things relate to each other in the real world. Because how are you supposed to think with math? You have to have certain principles. The principles determine what you study. So the ZF set theory was created so mathematicians had a structure by which to analyze certain topics. This structure is metaphysical because it depends on dogma and dogma isn’t real but it produces real result. Thus moving on from plane geometry to ZF set theory was the equivalent of using the eye to analyze the stars and using a telescope. Although the telescope is a physical structure, not metaphysical. Set theory came on the scene in the late 19th century. But it was a direct descendant of the 17th/18th century mathematical revolution. And it’s part of the body of mathematics that constitute our congregated human psyche
It’s a fundamental way to group things of similar properties. Why is this important? Because being able to know how things are related to each other is more powerful (and easier) than just knowing that there are things that have properties. It’s also reflective of how your brain actually works naturally to understand the world. Set Theory is just an explicit formulation of something we all do unconsciously.
During the 16th, 17th and 18th century, digestion of reality also took an interest in logic, deduction, what to believe, how to use these tools for political leverage. Thus during this time (17th-18th century; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes) political theory was growing in tools and value. And this growth would eventually serve as the platform for part of America’s ideology. Since the founding fathers were direct ideological descendants of this period.
The function of America, for its analysis, is structured after these thinkers. The reason why America is called the great experiment is because as citizens, we’re the value system within that function. Thus you can have analysis of American ideology and you can have a critique of American ideology. You can have an analysis of America using the set of axioms that run the country or you can have a critique of the society by bringing in wild new claims about equality and fairness. But who’s gonna believe you.
In contrast, the pagan Europeans moved on to Marx.
Marx’x political structure, that allows for analysis and critique, was created using different axioms. Axioms also guide perspective. Or perspective guide axioms. Either way, when Marx himself was creating the function of Marxism, Marx was evaluating the zeitgeist function against the values he saw within working society in the 18th century Europe. The political thinkers there were more concerned with how the government functioned to ensure the ideals of society. Marx wanted to change the ideals of society in order to have a feedback effect on the government in such a way that the government was by the people, for the people and of the people. At least in theory.
During this time, Freud was thinking about his mom and writing about it.
Then here comes Hitler. Shit happens, a bunch of system values clash in the world, and a bunch of smart Germans (many of them of Jewish ancestry) take this as an opportunity to marry Freudian values of psychology with a Marxist agenda for the individual psyche. Ya bish
edit: Fuck, I forgot to include Adorno’s Nonidentity. This is key. A does not equal A.
Without critiquing A, A does not equal A.
Now this was said in the context that A = A within analysis. So how come nonhuman animals not capable of critiquing, how can they analyze? Because their analysis is based on hard wired evolutionary responses. The idea of critiquing is that critique causes ideology to enter a plasma-like state of form where ideology can go through nuclear fusion. Disengaging itself from the hard wired-ness of its response