Sobre el pensamiento representacional y la filosofía que presupone la figura del Estado

por Juan Pablo Anaya

“State philosophy’ is another name for the representational thinking that has dominated Western metaphysics since Plato, but has suffered an at least momentary setback during the last quarter century at the hands or Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and poststructuralist theory generally. As described by Deleuze, State Philosophy is grounded on a double identity: of the thinking subject, and of the concepts it creates and to which it lends its own presumed attributes of sameness and constancy. The subject, its concepts, and the “external” objects to which the concepts are applied have a shared, internal essence: the self-resemblance at the basis of identity. Representational thought is analogical; its concern is to establish a correspondence between these symmetrically structured domains. The faculty of judgment serves as the police force of analogy, assuring that each of the three terms is honestly itself, and that the proper correspondences obtain. In thought its end is truth, in action justice. The weapons it wields in pursuit of these are limitative distribution (the determination of the exclusive set of properties possessed by each term in contradistinction to the others: logos, law) and hierarchical ranking (the measurement of the degree of perfection or a term’s self-resemblance in relation to a supreme standard, Man, God, or Gold: value, morality). The modus operandi is negation: x=x=not y. Identity, resemblance, truth, justice, and negation. The rational foundation for order. The established order, of course: philosophers have traditionally been employers of the State. The collusion between philosophy and the State was most explicitly enacted in the first decade of the nineteenth century with the foundation of the University or Berlin, which was to become the model for higher learning throughout Europe and the U.S. The goal laid out by Wilhelm von Humboldt (based on proposals by Fichte and Schleiermacher) was the “spiritual and moral training of the nation,” to be achieved by “deriving everything from an original principle” (truth), by “relating everything to an ideal” (justice), and by “unifying this principle and this ideal in a single Idea” (the State). The end product would be “a fully legitimated subject of knowledge and society” –each mind analogously organized mini-State morally unified in the supermind of the State. Prussian mind-meld. Even more insidious than today’s well-known practical cooperation between the university and government (the burgeoning military funding of research) was its philosophical role in propagating the form of representational thinking itself that ‘properly spiritual absolute State’ endlessly reproduced and disseminated at every level of the social fabric (nationalism and good citizenship). More insidious than its institution-based propagation is the State-form’s ability to propagate itself without centrally directed inculcation (liberalism and good citizenship). Still more insidious is the process presiding over our present plight, in which the moral and philosophical foundations of national and personal identity have crumbled, making a mockery of the State-form –but the world keeps right on going as if they hadn’t (neoconservatism and cynical greed).”

Massumi, Brian, A user’s guide to Capitalism and Schizopphrenia. Deviations from deleuze and Guattari, Swerve Editions/MIT, 1996, p. 4.