Below is the third section (of Part II) of a four-section essay by Hans-Peter Raddatz about the EU, the Mediterranean Union, the Islamization of the West, and the deliberate engineering of the “Arab Spring” by the global elites to serve their own long-term goals. Previously: Section 1, Section 2. For the links to Part I, see the archive list at the bottom of this post.
Islamic Seasons and “Democratic” Global Policy
Part II: Fall and Winter in the Cycle of Radical Culture
by Hans-Peter Raddatz
Dr. Raddatz uses references which may be unfamiliar to some. Therefore there are reference notes. These are of two types: translator’s notes and endnotes:
|1)||Translator’s Notes: An asterisk (*) following a word or concept in the text indicates the presence of a “Translator’s Note” immediately below. These provide immediate clarification for concepts or expressions which may be unfamiliar to some, or even most readers.|
|2)||Endnotes: Numbers in superscript following a term or a concept in the text indicate endnotes for readers who wish more detail grounded in original sources.
The point of Dr. Raddatz’ discussion of figures such as Kant and Derrida in the last section is that they trace the trajectory and help to form the radical ethos which we experience today. In Section 2 of this paper, “Radical Philosophy and Evil”, Dr. Raddatz introduced a trend of the Enlightenment which increasingly distances itself from reason (Logos) and moves toward its opposite, hylocentrism (matter), which in the social sphere becomes a narrowing of consciousness manifest in the form of reflex functionality replacing reflection or thought. The main representative of this trend is Immanuel Kant who introduced his Categorical Imperative and the philosophy of ‘radical evil’. The former is initially a maxim, an ethical principal, generated by each individual from an internal, pre-existing tendency called a disposition (Gesinnung). If the individual can accept the maxim without contradicting the golden rule, for example, then he should ‘will’ that it become the external universal law. The vagueness of the ‘disposition’ disposes it to co-optation by elites who then formulate the moral law themselves: the disposition “…solidifies … into an inner principle and creates structures of directed thinking and behaviour.” Radical evil, for its part, is embedded in human nature, since Kant’s “moral autonomy” requires that no external metaphysical entities exist, resulting in its independence from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Therefore morality comes down to the binary choice between good and evil dispositions, for nothing exists in between the two. To the elites, who take charge of the choice of maxims, “the Kantian system offers its most important imperative, according to which no maxim should contradict the moral law”. There is no alternative.
In this section, “Freedom, Coercion and Time”, Dr. Raddatz introduces a prolific Catholic writer, Franz von Baader (1765-1841), who challenges Kant’s philosophy at its weakest point, the inner principle of the ‘disposition’, which replaces natural law, or the moral law of the old culture. Von Baader provides a diagnosis for our times. He examines why the “omnipotence of reason” takes on an “arbitrary complexion” as a moral framework divorced from any spiritual influence outside of itself. The delusional character of choosing between two maxims rests on two grounds. Firstly, the individual only apparently participates in the choice of his own moral maxims. Due to the vagueness with which the maxims are generated, they are open to ideological “intensification” by the elites. Secondly, the putative freedom of a moral choice arising from omnipotent reason founders on an inherent corruption which, according to von Baader, arises from its “lost reference to God”. It becomes an active evil, a positive force in itself, and not merely an absence of good, or an ignoring or turning away from the good maxim. Degenerate reason is paradoxically expressed as deratiocination (reflexivity and automaticity) and a loss of culture.
3. Freedom, Coercion and Time
Since Kant is of exemplary significance for modernity’s sustained liberation from the clerical-Christian power of interpretation, he helps us to understand the systematisation of the power-mass model, which among many other things, and above all, directs basic functions underlying historical processes — spirit/body — just/unjust — good/evil — man/wife — life/death. To broaden our understanding, it is equally helpful to add some references from the body of Kantian criticism. Among its most important representatives is Franz von Baader [1765-1841] who was mentioned in Part I. As a committed Christian and inventive, speculative philosopher he not only devoted attention to Kant’s radical evil, but among other things, he also looked into the radical market doctrines of Adam Smith “and his imitators”.
Franz von Baader’s analysis of the “Proletaire”, that is, of the worker hard-pressed by industrialisation, does not appear to be all that far removed either from the tenor of contemporary global Islam criticism or from the power-mass mechanism [power-mass: elite’s rule of a deratiocinated (systematised) mass]. Accordingly it was determined that the “precarious situation of the worker” increased directly with the increase in productivity, and profits “were distributed among ever fewer individuals even as they accumulated”. Therefore, according to von Baader, “legal associations” had to be formed, which could stem the “conspiracy of the factory bosses” whose excesses after all revealed the true face of modern liberalism, namely, that it “leads back to the old despotism and servility”. “Christianity as the principle of society” must be set in opposition to this development, not as a stagnant “mummy-preservation”, but as a community of solidarity after the manner of the Founder, as an alternative to the destructive strategy of profit making and the “ego-inebriation” of liberalism, which destroys social unity, nature, and in the end, also religion and solidarity with God (Quoted from: Metzler Philosophen-Lexikon, 65f. Stuttgart 1995).
The expression “despotism and servility”, which precisely describes the dominance-submission drift of the power driven technological structure of the herd, owes its originality both to Franz von Baader’s intellectual acuity, as well as to the practical experience he accumulated as a mining engineer in the country which is mother to liberal capitalism’s exploitation [England]. Having developed concepts from the Natural Philosophy of the Renaissance, von Baader formed an all-encompassing contrast to Kant’s “insubstantial barrenness of Enlightenment-bringing [Aufklärerei]” and its “religiosity which remains only intensive”. His piety, thought von Baader, is fundamentally nothing but a fideistic fig leaf to avoid censorship, the ecclesiastical component of which appeared to von Baader, the Christian, as mere “mummy-preservation”.
It is with all the more clarity that the time-independent meaning of the Baaderian opposition to the Kantian radical evil comes to the fore, for its weakness had already been apparent to the average contemporary. Even less could its vulnerabilities escape the attention of a Franz von Baader, whose speculatively proficient analysis was as incisive as it was vituperative. With a sure eye he placed Kant’s main problem in his crosshairs, the Achilles heel of his system, the defective dialectic between disposition [Gesinnung] and moral law (cf. Section 2, Radical Philosophy and Evil]). To this end von Baader uses the ‘will’ which works differently for the [inner principle of] ‘disposition’ than it does for the [external] moral law. Since the ‘will’ of the ‘disposition’ is proper to the single individual, it conflicts with the collective ‘will’ which is proper to the moral law, for the collective will is supposed to develop out of the ‘will’ of the individual. But Kant provides no recipe for the transition from the maxim of the individual to the maxim of the entire collective [the Categorical Imperative], a transition which therefore remains paradoxical or “inscrutable”, if one assumes the ‘will’ is independent. As outlined above, however, this independence of the ‘will’ is difficult to accept because the Categorical Imperative is subject to the influence of the elites.
For this reason the moral law takes on an arbitrary complexion which not only points to the privileged elites, but also to the growing dominance of the established, positive law, which is prevailing against natural law*. Here, there blows no truly fresh wind of freedom to dispel the stale air of a prescriptive bureaucracy, much less break up the “mummy preservation”, such that the established influence of the elites on the balance between good and evil scarcely changes. According to von Baader, this defectively designed freedom [of choice, in and of itself] provides me “with neither positive strength (and) motivation [Gesinnung (Trieb)] nor does it relieve me of evil” [(Schulte, Christoph, radikal böse — Die Karriere des Böse von Kant bis Nietzsche, München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1988. p. 163]. The supposedly self-creating moral maxim is “by no means the power, the Primum Mobile [the first unmoved mover] of my will” (Schulte, loc. cit.). Even if the moral law came from the will of the individual, there remains the equally free evil, which must necessarily enter into educational formation and, a priori, contaminate the moral law, writes von Baader.
*[Translator’s Note: Positive law vs. natural law: With this distinction, the underlying question, given the Kantian context, is this: After natural law has been replaced by positive law, what gives the law its legitimacy? Natural moral law has always been understood to be inherent in human nature.]
For von Baader, the Christian, the reason for the malfunction is plainly evident. It is the lost reference to God and the loss of the means to grace, losses which original sin now converts to a permanent burden instead of it being lifted, making level the path of faith to an earthly existence which is conscious of Jesus. According to von Baader, since the Will of God plays no role in Kant’s ‘dialectic on the autonomy of the will’ [willkürlicher Dialektik], the moral law can achieve a completely different freedom, which establishes itself in moral atheism [morality derived from man alone] and further intensifies the modern [moral] deficit. At the same time, the defects in thinking of the Enlightenment and its “insubstantial barrenness” called into question the supposed omnipotence of reason and hence offered many possibilities to speculative philosophy, helping the by no means obsolete Christian traditions and their timeless life’s wisdom to a renewed plausibility. This the more so, according to von Baader, for with Christianity the concern is about people, and is not a matter of an abstract principle such as the Kantian Imperative, which generates the illusion of individual morality, but in fact replaces the divine reason [Logos] by dubious ‘dispositions’.
This abusive, because immoral, if not indeed deceptive function of reason is for von Baader the unmistakable proof that it is reason’s corruptibility which produces evil and not the sensual: — corruptibility is that singular characteristic which subordinates man even to the animal (Cf. Section 2, Radical Philosophy and Evil); while man, as a purely sensual being, is simply indifferent to morality and equal to the animal. By contrast, the perversion of reason, — that is its detachment from God, — makes man a virtually perfidious special type, who acts in a completely different way than does the morally zealous man of duty in the Kantian morality spectrum. Now he is by tendency the carrier of evil, by which the evil act is not only the absence of good [Unterlassen des Guten], “not simply a passive ignoring, but a positive, dynamic, violent act “. (Schulte, ibid. 165) .
Being a carrier of evil is a mode of being sui generis, which passes over into reflexive thinking and acting and can no longer be reached by any argument, because the human connection between the Good [dem Guten] and reason is severed. In order to make this extreme radicalism comprehensible, von Baader examines it from the perspective of the animal, which is — actually neutrally — comparable to the sensual mode of existence, but it now points in a satirical direction.* Accordingly, von Baader says that man can deem himself fortunate not to be a pure spirit, because otherwise he would become radically evil, unless “the animalistic were to lend him a kind of (heteronomous) goodness” (loc. cit). [Heteronomous: derived from an external source]. Thus the philosopher comes to a non-polemical conclusion which is even clear to atheists. For absolute reason, which divests itself of reference to God, conditions the technological status of absolute evil, which however can be humanised by an animalistic means-of-grace — a paraphrase of totalitarianism which is as logical as it is grotesque.
*[Translator’s Note: — “But it now points in a satirical direction”. Satire is ridicule directed at behaviour or custom which deviates from a standard model; in this case, the Christian tradition of “reference to God”. The target is therefore Kant’s philosophy of “moral autonomy”. Von Baader’s satire overvalues the sensual element far beyond Kant’s position, and also exaggerates it in comparison to Kant’s ‘reason’ which is imperilled, malevolent and remains unprotected from corruption by any inherent principle of good (Schulte, radikal böse — Die Karriere des Böse von Kant bis Nietzsche, p. 165)
Thus the satire: if ‘Kantian man were a pure spirit he would be radically evil, for radical evil is “rooted” in his nature; that is, in pure reason beyond time and causality; but man might receive “heteronomous” grace from the animalistic (das Thierische)’ This is a distorted mirror image of the Christian position, whereby man in his embodied, fallen nature co-operates with “heteronomous” grace from God, which is of course also free of corruption on its own account. Examining the satire seriously as a complete image, we note that “grace” is common to both the Kantian man in the satire and the standard Christian model of the “reference to God”, although grace changes its complexion as it moves from one to the other. It is as if grace, the very substrate of human existence, never ceases to flow. Like water, the more its normal path is blocked by a “lost reference to God” through hubristic claims to autonomy, the more inclined they are to a lower path, such as leads to the “technological status of absolute evil” and its “animalistic means-of-grace”. Here grace realises its inherent salvific claim to totality, to unity with man in that “paraphrase” of “totalitarianism”. In the following paragraph, that lower path to animalistic grace is “dialogue” with Islam.]
While every palliation of evil here is as ineffective as it is dangerous — “Evil is no fairy tale; it is a power” (von Baader)  — this [technological] status [of absolute evil] is in so many variations of atheistic radicalism today, that the reference to God obtrudes itself as a purely random instrument of discourse. An additional factor is the technological effect of pro-Islamic cultural radicalism. By the simple use of propaganda promoting the anti-Christian foundations of Islam, pro-Islamic cultural radicalism adopts Islam’s God-reference and so achieves the same result as it would were it to detach itself from the Christian God separately on its own account. In other words: the more committed the actions of the servant of dialogue, the closer he moves to that sphere of being in which — from the traditional Western standpoint — the animalistic means-of-grace begins to show its effects.
Once again the function of the Islamic mirror image is confirmed whereby Jews and Christians, in spite of (or because of) their perfect submission, become entrenched in their status as apes or pigs. Since Islam considers them as irreparably spiritless, and is unacquainted with the Christian concept of grace, even the most zealous activists of the cultural dialogue are deemed to be basically evil and imprisoned in their animal status out of which only conversion can free them. Conversely, the activists see in Islam the radical good, a kind of ontological key which opens for them the way out of the prison of the rejected bourgeois world and its hated people. At the same time, as experience shows, the by no means unimportant collateral advantage accrues to the activists of being able to live out misogynous variations of borderline syndromes (paranoia, narcissism, deviant forms of sexuality, incest), as means to a liberating fusion with the similarly disposed Islamic object of salvation.
Next: Crowds and Packs
|1.||“While every palliation of evil here is as ineffective as it is dangerous — ‘Evil is no fairy tale; it is a power’ …. Evil is “not simply a passive ignoring, but a positive, dynamic, violent act “ (von Baader, quoted above.). These questions address to what degree evil is real; that is, a positive power, in relation to the good, as opposed to a negative absence of the good; an important question, in that the trivialisation of evil is “dangerous”.
For von Baader, evil is not merely a passive “ignoring”, or turning away from the good as Kant maintains (see below); rather, it takes on a positive dynamism by virtue of its separation from “reference to God”. For von Baader, substantive evil results from the splitting off of Western consciousness from the non-rational source which gave it life in the first instance; namely, the “lost reference to God”. Dr. Raddatz traces this development from the Enlightenment, during which time a “tunnel-thinking” developed, an autonomous reason which expresses itself as utilitarianism, as “system” or “technologisation” of man (Derrida, Luhmann, Habermas). Today we often call it social engineering. Paradoxically, therefore, split off reason becomes deratiocinated into “system”. Man, as the object of utilitarian subversion of his reason, becomes a mass; that is, he becomes passive and moves from reflection to “reflexivity”, from logocentrism to hylocentrism, and as seen in Section 4 of this paper, from reason to body machine.
The philosophical basis of evil as a “passive ignoring” of the good is the very old Catholic doctrine of the privatio boni (evil defined as an absence of good). “Evil, considered ontologically, has no autonomous nature, rather its existence is only relative to the good” (Schulte, radikal böse — Die Karriere des Böse von Kant bis Nietzsche, p. 126); that is, the opposite pole to an ontologically substantial good is an evil without substance: The idea antedates St. Augustine, although it was he who brought the idea to full maturity: “For evil is not a positive substance: the loss of good has been given the name of ‘evil’“ (Augustine. The City of God. XI 9). In the Augustinian tradition the doctrine of the privatio boni “…relieves God — at least the Christian God — of being its [evil’s] originator”, as Dr. Raddatz expresses it in another, albeit related connection: (Omne bonum a deo, omne malum ab homine: (“All good derives from God, all evil from man” cf. Section 2 of this paper, endnote 12). Kant appears to have inherited the tradition of the privatio boni from this early Christian tradition and applied it to ‘relieve the good maxim from being the originator of evil’ and from being corrupted by it.
This predisposition in human nature, onto which nothing evil can be “grafted”, is the source of the good maxim. It is sufficient in itself for “personality” (Persönlichkeit) or personhood which Kant defines as a susceptibility for reverence toward the moral law, although no moral law in particular:
Kant specifies three degrees of radical evil, all of which have the character of “ignoring” the good disposition or maxim (privatio boni), by dint of a tendency [Hang] to weakness, mixing of good and bad motives and the substitution of bad motives for good ones as follows:
For an account of how radical evil is also rooted in pure reason, a condition Kant called “foul taint in our race” or “devilish”, see Section 2 of this essay.