Author Archives : Hanzi Freinacht


5 Things that Make You Alt-Left 10

So you consider yourself a Leftie? Or perhaps you just want to educate yourself, getting up to par with your worst adversaries ever to come out of the Hell of progressive thought and action? In any case, you’re more than welcome to enjoy this brief presentation of what makes someone Alt-Left. For a shorter introduction to the Alt-Left read this page.

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If you on a general level agree with the old established Left and happily vote for any of the socialist or social democratic parties or their liberal equivalents in the US (yes, that includes Bernie Sanders) then you’re probably not Alt-Left. If you instead see the political identity based movements in all their diverse glory, whether that’s feminism, multiculturalism and what not as the only way forward, then you’re probably not Alt-Left either. If you self-identify as Alt-Left but merely repackage the same old thoughts that have been available for the past 30 years or more, then you’re per definition not Alt-Left. But if you find that the following describes your opinions and way of thought, then you’re probably Alt-Left. Here goes:

“Your solution is thus not to abolish, but to outcompete, capitalism”…

Alt-Left

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The Limits of Economic Inquiry

“To know what is useful to a dog, one must study dog-nature. This nature itself cannot be deduced from the principle of utility. Applying this to Man, he that would criticize all human acts, movements, relations etc., by the principle of utility, must first deal with human nature in general, and then with human nature as modified in each historical epoch. Bentham makes short work of it. With the driest naïveté, he takes the modern shopkeeper, especially the English shopkeeper, as the normal man.” – Karl Marx in Capital

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“The concern is not to suppress economic thought as we know it, but to expand it.”

Introduction: Expanding the realm of the economic

In social science a perpetual question of legitimacy is the definition and delimitation of the economic. What is ‘economic’ fundamentally defines with what we, collectively as well as individually, can economize, within which frames we can meaningfully make trade-offs. In an acclaimed economics text-book trade-offs are said to be made concerning: 1. which goods/services to produce, 2. how to produce, and 3. who receives goods/services (Perloff, 2004: p 2). Some domains of our existence are however generally considered to be beyond economic inquiry, and


Revolutions of Cultural Capital 3

The world hardly noticed when the Danish party The Alternative snuck their way into parliament with almost 5% of the votes, less than two years after its founding was announced. And why should the world notice such menial, peripheral affairs in the quiet corners of the world? Because this event reveals a certain greater cultural pattern that come to affect the world at large. What we see is the tendency for cultural capital to organize and out-compete financial capital.

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“Economic capital, in this case, ‘trickles down’ through sexual and social capital. Exchanges take place. Society stratifies into male power, female beauty and side-kick friends.”

You may be familiar with the idea that there are different forms of capital in society.

Karl Marx argued that the logic of economic capital is what drives modern society and explains large parts of its social and political relations. Pierre Bourdieu argued that in modern French society, there is not only economic capital, but also cultural capital. The hommes de lettres, the cultural elite, were powerful and had their own ways of expanding their form of capital. Bourdieu also added social capital to the model – how well connected

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Secular Karma, Spiritual Reason 2

Is there such a thing as Karmic law? What goes around comes around, huh? Or does it? Everybody gets what they deserve in the end. Or do they? Or how about this one: Does being a good person ultimately count for more than being powerful and successful? Is the world a fair place, a cosmic order of morality? Are there rewards inherent in kindness and morality – and are our sins and evils really pregnant with punishment? Or is the world fundamentally devoid of moral meaning; a perfectly dead, pristine multidimensional, self-organizing hypercomplexity of indifference?

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“I offer you spiritual reason. If reason’s your game.”

The answers to these questions are, in order of appearance: yes, there is a such a thing as Karmic law; no, nobody gets what they deserve because we always deserve something infinitely better; no, power precedes morality, so being powerful and successful counts for more than being good (and this is so by mathematical necessity); yes, kindness and morality have inherent rewards (and sins have automatic punishments); yes, the world is a cosmic order of morality; no the world is not indifferent – its fundamental principle is love which is the same


Concerning the Complexities of Political Opinion – A Five Dimensional Model

There are reasons for political opinions, different orders of causation. People hold opinions because. These different orders constitute separate but interconnected logics of causation that can all be, and have been, studied as their own separate fields of inquiry. These different kinds of because can be described and related to one another. I propose here to present a list of these different orders and some of their most important interrelations, as far as my theorizing can take me at this point.

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“Quite simply: from what opinion will people gain the most in terms of their social identity? Adopting what political opinion will best serve my image, fit my style, help my career, get me laid, and get me into fewer awkward situations?”

At each order, or level, distinctions are made, opinions formed. But the different kinds of distinctions are made for different reasons. Here is the general outline of the five orders:

1st order: Opinion as identity cost-benefit calculation

2nd order: Opinion as (perceived) interest

3rd order: Opinion as perspective from a social position

4th order: Opinion as ideology (ontological horizon)

5th order: Opinion as cognitive ability (stage of development)

Let’s go through them one by

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relative-freedom

Another Kind of Freedom 1

Political freedom is a scale from seven to one, where seven is North Korea and one is the US, France or Sweden. At least according to the Washington based NGO Freedom House (www.freedomhouse.org). Here’s the deal: There is one score for political rights and one for civil liberties. And when a country gets to one in both scores – it is free. But is that all there is to it? Is that the endpoint of human freedom?

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“Nothing can be alive or created or sustained without the use of power. A human body consists of organic matter under violent control: killed, chewed, swallowed, digested, broken down and reorganized.”

Ah, freedom.

Freedom, yeah.

The research, monitoring and lobbying undertaken by this kind of NGO:s are exceedingly important. No doubt about it. Democracy is better than dictatorship. Upholding human rights is better than violating human rights. Freedom of speech is really, really important for the individuation and integration processes that constitute the flowering of life and the release from suffering and degradation.

Looks Like We’ve Hit a Plateau!

But of course, human rights aren’t ontologically grounded realties like laws of nature. They are social constructs, deals


You’re not metamodern before you understand this. Part 2: Proto-Synthesis 3

This is the second post regarding the major objectives of metamodernism. The first, on the political stance of Game Change, was a political follow-up on the post ‘5 things that make you metamodern’. This post will introduce the major underlying philosophical concept behind the metamodern project: Proto-Synthesis.

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The Philosophical Goal of Metamodernism: Proto-Synthesis

The major overarching intellectual goal of metamodernism is the attempt to construct a unified overview of all knowledge in a cosmological context, a grand narrative of everything – while knowing full and well that the synthesis produced can never be final or absolute.

“The mantra of Metamodernism is: Reconstruction must follow deconstruction.”

Reconstruction

The mantra of Metamodernism is: Reconstruction must follow deconstruction. This is to be seen as a reaction against the postmodern aim of deconstructing everything. But Metamodernism is not the same as modernity. The grand project of modernity was based on the belief that given enough time, rational thought and careful objective analysis, science would reveal the secrets of existence. Metamodernists are aware that creating a new grand narrative of the world is a never ending endeavor and only Proto-Synthesis is achievable.

The grand narrative

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You’re not metamodern before you understand this. Part 1: Game Change 13

This is a follow up on my previous post on ‘5 things that make you metamodern’. The purpose is to present the two major objectives of the metamodern project, politically and philosophically: Game Change and Proto-Synthesis. This post, part one, introduces the underlying political thinking behind metamodernism. We call it Game Change. Failing to understand this principle leads to very serious mistakes; such failure transmutes glowing idealism into murder most foul.

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“The good news is that we can change the rules of the game, making it fairer and more forgiving for everyone.”

The Political Goal of Metamodernism: Game Change

The major objective of the metamodern political project is to change the rules of the game. Our simple message is that life as we know it can and must evolve. The Game Change position is:

  • Life is a plus-sum game with possible win-wins.
  • Life is also often a zero-sum game with lose-win.
  • Life is often even a tragic dilemma of lose-lose.
  • But the rules of the game can change, evolving into more win-win, less lose-win and less lose-lose.
  • Nobody actually ever “deserves” to lose games and suffer defeat or humiliation. Seriously – would you tell

Sex. Politics. Politics. Sex. 3

What would be a sane, pragmatic and holistic approach to gender equality in society? I would argue that we have three fundamental aspects of the gender-sex-equality-identity-relationship-reproduction complex (for short: the gender-political complex). Yes, these things are intrinsically linked to one another and can be treated as one single gender-political complex. This post is about how future utopia can relate to the gender-political complex.

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“Radicalism and critical studies in all of its forms, the political left, look at identity freedom. Conservatism and the political right look at reproductive functionality.”

Three Dimensions

Let’s start with the arithmetics. The gender-political complex has at least three dimensions, possibly more. If you can’t count to three, you’re out. And if you can’t keep one, two, three apart – you’re out. Whatever gender politics you conceive of that does not at least include these three dimensions is inherently oppressive. The dimensions are:

  • Identity freedom
  • Game evolution
  • Reproductive functionality

No political system or ideology in the world today looks at more than one of these three dimensions. Radicalism and critical studies in all of its forms, the political left, look at identity freedom. Conservatism and the political right look at reproductive functionality.

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5 things that make you metamodern 22

The basic stage theory proposed here is: modernist -> postmodernist -> metamodernist. So don’t skip past postmodernism, because you will end up with a cheap, empty tin version of metamodernism. This goes especially for so-called integralists who have no or almost no conception of the glory of postmodernism.

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First of all, any true metamodernist must also be a postmodernist. If you do not understand and depart from the postmodern critique of knowledge, science, philosophy, art and consciousness, you cannot really claim to be metamodern. If you have a general disliking of all things postmodern, guess what, you cannot be metamodern.

This being said, metamodernists are quite different from postmodernists. Here’s a list of five key insights that make you metamodern – given that you are also/already postmodern.

“The wisdom is, just because something makes you feel bad, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

1) An awareness of allergies

An allergy is an uncontrolled negative emotional response towards some idea or person. It’s the gut-wrenching feeling that a person you dislike provokes in you, or the feeling of anger and discontent certain ideas or concepts can spawn.

We all have these emotions, but the metamodernist has developed its mind


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