Art of Democracy

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Democracy is in a sense above politics and so democracy is thus not fully reducible to mere politics. What is needed therefore is profoundly multidimensional ethical understanding that will further develop, enhance and strengthen the global project of freedom, emancipation and representative governance.

1. Critical Theory
2. Deconstruction
3. Ethical Courage
4. Moral Clarity
5. Political Wisdom
6. Tikkun Olam

1. Critical Theory

Critical Theory is a transdisciplinary field of science that is not only concerned with describing realities but also crucially critiquing how realities are described in therefore becoming complicit in the very formation of the socially constructed reality itself.
Critical Theory is particularly interested in how subconscious cognitive structures regulate society but also in providing space for perspectives of structurally oppressed categories of persons. The predominant contemporary genre of writing in Critical Theory is founded in a long tradition of writing known as the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing which in modern times was rejuvenated by major innovative thinkers such as Friedrich NietzscheLeo Strauss and Jacques Derrida.
In ancient times, political thinking had to be done in subterfuge by writing in such a way that trained minds could understand yet so that the author could successfully elude persecution by the tyrants of the time. Even today are career scientists fearful of stepping beyond the reigning paradigm of the day for fear of negative repercussions in terms of their respective individual academic careers. Therefore, even today can critical theorists resort to language deliberately intended to disguise a message deemed too controversial within academia. This type of writing is often performed subconsciously, meaning that the writing contains a consciously intended yet often still subconsciously created structure in the text.

Another purpose with this type of writing is to train minds of some readers into themselves becoming innovative thinkers in the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing. This profound tradition of critical writing crucially enables writing that otherwise would be socially difficult to express in normative public contexts. Also, this tradition wants readers to focus their minds and make a substantial effort towards profound comprehension. This often involves reading a text more than once as indeed each reading of a text provides a unique experience of impression. This helps willing readers develop their sense of empathy by diving into the intellectual world of the writer of the text.

“Time and again we have become bewildered by the fact that the man who is more responsible than any other man for the break with the Great Tradition should in the very act of breaking prove to be the heir, the by no means unworthy heir, to that supreme form of writing which that tradition manifested at its peaks. The highest art has its roots, as he well knew, in the highest necessity. The perfect book or speech obeys in every respect the pure and merciless laws of what has been called logographic necessity. The perfect speech contains no slipshod; in it there are no loose threads, it contains no word that has been picked up at random; it is not marred by errors due to faulty memory or to any other form of carelessness; strong passions and a powerful and fertile imagination are guided by a reason which knows how to use the unexpected gift, which knows how to persuade and which knows how to forbid; it allows no adornment which is not imposed by the gravity and the aloofness of the subject matter; the perfect writer rejects with disdain and some impatience the demand of vulgar rhetoric that expressions must be varied since change is pleasant.”  Thoughts on Machiavelli  by Leo Strauss, 1958, pp. 120-121

Even when when not having time for attaining perfection in writing and even when not writing esoterically is the task nevertheless still to challenge readers into learning to think innovatively by focusing single-mindedly on a text at hand and even doing so by challenging the notion of Critical Theory itself in terms of not only what Critical Theory is but importantly also what it perhaps ought to be. The task here is not only to transform the future but also to train other minds to transform the future as well.

2. Deconstruction

Deconstruction is an exact science that applies creative geometric thinking (specifically innovative liminal thinking) and therefore reveals priorly unknown possibilities as problems are typically opportunities in disguise.

The notion of deconstruction has been much misunderstood. It has been claimed that this is a “method”,  a “philosophical school” or even a “semiotic tendency” that purportedly “was invented” by Algerian-born French Jewish philosopher and universal genius Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) on the basis of what are known as so called “post-structuralism” and so called “post-modernism” in spite of Derrida’s vehement rejection of both replacement ideologies.

This type of simplistic fallacious thinking is precisely that which Derrida rejects such as logocentrism, phallogocentrism and phonocentrism. Since Derrida’s demise has it unfortunately become increasingly socially acceptable to spread such defamation against the extensive intellectual heritage and profound thought of Jacques Derrida. Indeed, there is probably no person in history who has been more defamed than Jacques Derrida.

Derrida’s thought is rather founded in two ancient traditions of thinking. One is the Jewish intellectual tradition of rabbinic thought as Derrida’s esteemed chavruta partner (dialectic study partner), Lithuanian-born French Jewish philosopher and avid student of the Babylonian Talmud Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) considering that Levinas indeed is the by far most important intellectual influence on the thought of Jacques Derrida to the point of Derrida saying that there is “no difference” between his thought and the thought of Levinas.

The other main influence is the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing which today in overt public discourse is mostly associated with the intellectual heritage of German-born American Jewish political philosopher and classicist Leo Strauss (1899-1973). Indeed, Levinas and Strauss were as Derrida himself prominent Jewish geniuses of their time. Prussian-born philologist, philosopher and accomplished genius Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a pro-Jewish opponent of German nationalism who inaugurated the intellectual renewal of the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing in “secular” i.e. post-Christian (but still almost completely culturally Christian) time. It should be added that the long tradition of rabbinic thought is also founded in the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing.

Derrida’s intellectual life mission is indeed precisely about intellectually realizing Nietzsche’s own project for the Jewish intellectual reinvention of Europe. Democratic Zionism itself was founded by Jewish intellectuals who were profoundly intellectually inspired by the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, the pre-eminent innovative thinker of their time. It is no exaggeration to describe Nietzsche as what Rabbinic Judaism refers to as a person of non-Jewish parentage with a Jewish soul, as he was a magnificient modern Hebrew prophet indeed.

Then what is deconstruction? Deconstruction is not only a distinctive science but indeed an exact science. What is known as “analysis” is to deconstruction what chemistry is to physics. Indeed chemistry is devoted to studying constituent elements while physics in contrast is devoted to studying the interrelationships between constituent elements. Deconstruction therefore is the study of spacing in language and other such expressions. Contrary to common prejudice did Derrida not invent deconstruction (he merely coined the term!) although Derrida’s intellectual project very much is about selectively destroying the mostly nefarious influence of barely secularized Christian metaphysics on human cultures worldwide. For Derrida this also very much requires selectively intellectually destroying the racial supremacist ideology of “humanism” and hence the presence of so many non-human Animals in the works of Jacques Derrida.

The approach of deconstruction as introduced by Derrida involves introducing Jewish modes of thought as a means towards completing the process of secularization as inaugurated by the Aufklärer (so called “Enlightenment” thinkers). However, the approach of the Aufklärer was founded in structural Anti-Judaizing Neo-Hellenism whereby they sought to rid society from Judaizing intellectual influences of Christianity and restore Europe to the perceived historical glory of Hellenism.

Indeed, the Aufklärung (“Enlightenment”) began with the so called “Reformation” in Germany as led by vehement Anti-Jewish hater Martin Luther (1483-1546) who in his infamous 1543 book “The Jews and their Lies” (Von den Jüden und iren Lügen) advocated genocidal persecution against the Jewish people. Liberalism, Marxism and Nazism as modern political ideologies all began as political projects to structurally rid the culture of Christendom from Judaizing influences. As Christianity itself and therefore also Christendom has its roots in Hellenistic Judaism did all three movements as their medieval Christian theological predecessors completely fail in this respect and even so one might say in a spectacular manner.

Indeed the Catholic notion of “natural right” is founded in a certain Catholic historical intellectual inversion of Jewish mitzvot (Jewish religious obligations) from obligation to entitlement although the Catholic thinkers who introduced the natural rights could not say or write so openly for fear of being publicly stigmatized as so called Judaizers. Natural rights are today in contrast usually known under the racial supremacist term of “human rights”. The modern political ideology of Liberalism as separated from inception from its historical roots in the Catholic church originally sought to marginalize Judaic influences on society through the tool of the Christian ideology of “secularism” which indeed privileges imperialist Euro-Christian culture over all other human cultures. Marxism is a certain secularization of Jewish redemptive history as founded in barely secularized Christian metaphysics and so the Judaic and Hellenistic (“metaphysical”) influences on Marxism can hardly become disentangled without dismantling the modern political ideology of Marxism itself. Nazism of course was the one of the three which was the most explicitly Anti-Jewish although Nazism itself can very much be described as a culturally Christian literalist appropriation of the Israelite state archive known as the Hebrew Bible, yet entirely without the reinterpretative Jewish intellectual tradition of the two Talmuds and rabbinic literature generally.

Derrida’s approach to deconstruction is to be sure neither Anti-Christian nor Anti-Hellenistic but his approach is best understood as an unfinished cleanup operation whereby nonsensical Para-Christian elements of the philosophical tradition are scandalized and ridiculed indeed. Of course this is not to infer that everything Para-Christian is nonsensical but rather than most are and that the Jewish intellectual tradition as a certain khôra (i.e. exterior perspective) is a highly appropriate starting point for scandalizing and destroying metaphysics; meaning specifically the nonsensical and even nefarious elements of the Para-Christian. Indeed, the Jewish intellectual tradition is the radical other of Christian metaphysics which Derrida correctly describes as originally a form of Greek ethnocentrism.

Derrida’s deconstruction is of course not a method but rather a certain redemptively Jewish deliberate destruction of the imperialist intellectual culture of Christendom. There is no question however that Derrida is the most misunderstood thinker in the history of what is known as philosophy as it is virtually impossible to truly understand Derrida’s modes of thought without familiarity with the history of Jewish intellectual culture. To be sure, Derrida is not a “secular” (i.e. Para-Christian) thinker, rather he is a Jewish revolutionary rebelling against oppressive nonsensically “secular” (i.e. Para-Christian) culture. Intellectual rebellion against oppressively surrounding society is indeed part of Jewish intellectual culture and so it is impossible to for example understand the historical context of the Christian so called “gospels” of the so called “New Testament” without understanding this very Jewish culture of intellectual rebellion as free and open debate is considered a religious virtue in rabbinically Jewish culture. Humor as an important element of Derrida’s intellectual heritage is also part of revolutionary Jewish intellectual culture as even Jewish religious humor is devoted to poking fun at “the sacred” although this is surely shocking to religious imperialism.

While Derrida certainly did not invent deconstruction (which is all over the Talmud and rabbinic literature!) and originated in the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing is it nevertheless important to study Derrida’s approach to deconstruction. Derrida applies geometric (specifically liminal) thinking in a manner that is certainly not reducible to any “geometric method”. Rather the purpose of dialectic yeshiva study, the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing and indeed Derrida’s own approach to deconstruction is indeed to teach others to think for themselves by means of innovatively learning geometric liminal thinking. Thus Derrida’s purpose is not to become revered by Euro-Christian society in Para-Christian style as yet another Jewish founder (sic!) of discursivity as Derrida’s discursivities which he largely derived from Levinas cannot reasonably be understood in isolation from the cultural context of Jewish intellectual culture. Jacques Derrida also cannot be reasonably understood without simultaneously also understanding his chavruta partner and main intellectual influence Emmanuel Levinas. Indeed, Levinas is precisely to Derrida what Socrates is to Plato, an esteemed chavruta partner indeed.

Although Jacques Derrida was indeed an accomplished universal genius is it nevertheless possible to learn to apply Derrida’s approach in deconstruction, certainly not as a method but rather as agency of conceptual innovation. While analysis as already mentioned divides something into its constituent parts is deconstruction rather concerned with the inter-relationship between its constituent parts, meaning that analysis is precisely like chemistry and deconstruction is precisely like physics. However it is no secret that most aspects of physics (quite unlike chemistry) are simply unknown to the scientific community and the same is true of deconstruction. While analysis typically in phallogocentric and phonocentric manner assumes that human spoken language is reducible to mathematical-style logics (i.e. Para-Christian “revelation”) does deconstruction instead prove the non-mathematical and instead liminal nature of human language, the human brain and human thinking. The neo-Hellenistic attempts at reducing veracity to “metaphysical” systems (essentially pseudo-religious conspiracy theories) are not only preposterous but fundamentally unethical considering that systems are precisely unethical indeed. So called “metaphysics” is originally an historical product of the Greek language and human language itself is contrary to a long tradition of Eurocentric (i.e. Para-Christian) thought simply language irreducible to logics.

What is specific however to Derrida’s own approach is the medical nature of his intervention in discourse. What does this mean? This means that Derrida identifies the negative influence and similar to gene therapy removes negative aspects and typically supplants it with a neologism similar to how in gene therapy an exterior allele is introduced instead of the removed pathological allele. Not only is deconstruction the physics of discourse but Derrida is himself the most preeminent physician of discourse.

Much like physics explores that which already exists does deconstruction reveal already existing structures in discourse and rigorous deconstruction is very much an exact science although unlike mathematics which reveals logic does deconstruction reveal the unfounded, yet liminal nature of the workings of the human brain and thus discredits the Para-Christian notion of the unity of Logos in the flesh. While a brain may understand logics is the brain itself not essentially logical but rather liminal indeed.

Intellectual innovation therefore reveals possibilities that in theory always were possible but only become possible once functionally understood. This is what deconstruction does by means of geometrically liminal thinking and in order to understand both deconstruction generally and Derrida’s approach to deconstruction specifically; one must understand that innovation is about making apparent what was always possible yet was simply unknown and mostly so due to intellectual inertia such as thinking inside the box of paradigm, dogma and genre. Deconstruction thus does what all science should do which is not only revealing logical phenomena but also illogical ones.

What is very much needed therefore is applied deconstruction (Derrida was mostly concerned with abstractions) and indeed applied critical theory generally as Derrida’s deconstruction of course is an extension of the Jewish science of Critical Theory which is certainly not reducible to any particular political ideology, neither Marxism nor any other political ideology. Indeed, applied deconstruction as social engineering is very much part of the task of the WPJO, namely responsible social innovation (i.e. Tikkun Olam) as a response to political and social problems worldwide.

3. Ethical Courage

Ethical courage ought be central to the conception and social construction of human agency and is precisely essential to psychological health as a clean conscience in the sense that knowing that you are acting as ethically as possible as your situation and understanding allows makes you literally sleep well at night and also gives you far more leeway in life. If you abide by law, engages in social/conceptual innovation and constantly advances ethically, then your agency will likely widen & broaden as leading to ethical empowerment in life for the benefit of others and yourself.

While others can forgive you can only you forgive yourself by acting more ethically than before. Everyone makes mistakes but by learning from mistakes can you learn to make fewer and fewer mistakes indeed. Remember that some mistakes can become very costly for you and so learning to not make mistakes may help you avoid many pitfalls in life.

Ethical courage means being critical of social norms generally and engaging in socially transformative practices such as ethical veganism, feminist seduction, ethico-political social/conceptual innovation and sociofluidity, meaning subversively innovating and self-designing socially transformative roles with respect to gender, age, ethnicity, class, accent etc. Ethical courage is thus not limited to speaking up when others don’t which surely is also vital but you need to find the appropriate way, venue, means and semiotics (words etc.) for doing so in being tailored for the task at hand without unnecessarily harming yourself just as you ought not unnecessarily harm others. Remember that in order to help others need you also help yourself and so harming yourself may significantly limit your ability to help others.

Optimal ethical choices are often not possible and primarily so due to at least one of two factors, either 1) limits on your agency such as e.g. legislation in your jurisdiction and your individual access to financial resources but also (2) your limited access to information, i.e. you never know the full picture because there are always aspects that you are unaware of.

Doing your best means constantly ethically advancing as you perpetually need to learn from experience (your own and those of others) in improving the ethical impact of your own behavior. One type of lack of information is the intrinsically limited nature of moral understanding, e.g. unless you are both emotionally and theoretically skilled in intersectionality may it be difficult to understand how the discursive impact of shibboleths of oppression/discrimination such as gender, age, race/species ethnicity, age, function, class etc. ought impact your ethical calculus.

Ethics, courage and ethical courage are however certainly not reducible to systems, in fact all three require transformative deconstructive critique vis-à-vis systems as mere opposition is typically insufficient. Anyone who thinks that intersectionality is reducible to a system is mistaken as consideration must not be limited to shibboleths of discrimination/oppression. Ethics is navigation in time and space and your presence in the intersection of time and space should be precisely designed to deconstruct both, including supremacist ideologies such as Humanism, a form of racial supremacism (homo sapiens sapiens is officially classified as a subspecies, i.e. a race) which tragically is to non-human persons what Nazism is to Untermenschen.

What you may have been taught by others to be right must you at least reconsider for that may or may not be mere moral prejucide indeed. The existence of DOLP (discrimination, oppression, lies and prejudice) should not deter you from speaking out on any issue, yet before speaking out need you precisely know what is prejudice and what is not or you may likely become a performative conveyor of structural DOLP yourself.

Empathy is not reducible to mere emotional empathy for you need display logical empathy as well. Emotional empathy without logic and logical empathy without emotional care for others may simply be pure evil. To assume that your current moral understanding is optimal represents not only a profound misunderstanding but an abject ethical failure indeed for you must constantly advance your ethical conduct as you proceed in interlife navigation.

Merely because values are not absolute (some ethical axioms are more valid than others!) does not mean that values are necessarily relative. It only means that metaphysics as originally a form of Greek ethnocentrism is fundamentally unhelpful in your ethical advancement as you proceed in life interaction of time and space.

4. Moral Clarity

Moral clarity is the political wisdom of defending liberty against tyranny. Moral clarity is not a speculative metaphysical position in philosophy or a “political ideology” but rather a sober understanding that freedom is always under threat and so it must be defended at all cost.

Proponents of moral clarity are often described as “neoconservatives”, yet proponents of moral clarity seldom refer to themselves as “neocons” and certainly do not claim to speak in the name of Leo Strauss and so do not invoke Leo Strauss in political advocacy despite the major intellectual influence of Leo Strauss.

Democracy is certainly not a perfect form of government and we must not be naive about the risks democracy poses in terms of relapse into tyrannical repression. Democracy is certainly the best form of government and no doubt needs and requires continual improvement, yet enlightened despotism is preferable in those countries where the majority of the people would unfortunately otherwise bring totalitarians to power.

Democracy defends open society and at the same time does the very open nature of democracy threaten open society itself. Open society maintains democracy, yet the very open nature open society threatens democracy itself. Moral clarity is about living this aporia by means of defending liberty against enemies of open society. Enemies of open society appear in different forms and shapes and different political colors but they do continue to appear and hence obviously very much the need for moral clarity.

The basic problem with democracy is that it encourages intellectual collectivism in political thought and political activity alike. This collectivism means that most citizens will typically not stand up for freedom against tyranny despite the fact that democracy is not even possible without the freedoms of open society.

Moral clarity requires political wisdom for how is it otherwise possible to know when open society is under existential threat from tyranny? Moral clarity means defending freedom and representative governance, including if necessary through deployment of military force. Moral clarity means understanding that the state itself may be both defender of freedom and at the same time a severe threat to freedom. The state is favorably perceived by practitioners of moral clarity to the extent that the state defends liberty and is certainly negatively perceived to the degree that it becomes tyrannical indeed.

What is needed therefore is to educate humans generally to practice moral clarity and thus themselves become civic guardians of the state. Many people surely wonder as to how “neconservatives” can become so profoundly politically influential, yet others too are certainly free to take on the mantle of guardianship in defending open society against its enemies.

Yet moral clarity requires ethical courage. Thus almost any human person of any gender can become what is known as a “philosopher king”. It certainly does not take a palace or a title to become one but requires much virtue, indeed very many personal and political virtues indeed. A seasoned practitioner of moral clarity of any gender is thus a philosopher king and philosopher kings tend to pay attention to the writings and utterances of fellow philosopher kings.

Let us therefore envision a state of democracy where citizens generally endeavor to live up to the ideal of a philosopher king and where the practice of moral clarity is considered a civic duty indeed. Defending liberty also requires defending the political axiomatics of democracy (yet certainly uncritically so!) without which it would be much more difficult to defend liberty against tyranny, yet the axiomatics of democracy need continually be further developed and indeed tested by experience.

To practice moral clarity means learning to tell right from wrong, useful from useless, effective from ineffective and indeed wise from nonsensical. Logic alone or love alone will not achieve that feat as political navigation of moral clarity is indeed an art of science.

5. Political Wisdom

Political wisdom has three main components. The first is about critically embracing ethical axioms as one’s personal guides in life. The second is about deciding which ethical axiom that should have precedence in a perceived or actual conflict between two or more ethical axioms. The third is about social/conceptual innovation in finding new means and devising both improved and new ethical axioms beyond aporias (dilemmas/paradoxes) as emerging from current articulation of ethical axioms.

In other words is political wisdom a psychological process involving both logic and emotion that certainly can be scientifically studied as such. Deployment of logic is not necessarily rational or ethical and deployment of emotion is not necessarily rational or ethical either. However, political wisdom can hardly exist without some kind of interaction between logic and emotion. The Para-Christian discursive enterprise of philosophy as a certain historical continuation of medieval Christian philosophy is traditionally about finding pure reason as disembodied from the ‘emotions of the body’, a distinctly Para-Christian practice which is essentially irrational and ultimately leads only to logical contradiction which simply proves the essential point that political wisdom requires both discerning logical capacity and discerning emotional capacity indeed.

Worthy ethical axioms are certainly not limited to what in church intellectual history became known as “natural rights”, and later the Para-Christian racial supremacist notion of so called “human rights”. Natural rights emerged as learned medieval Catholic intellectuals as educated in classical languages such as Hebrew and Aramaic appropriated and inverted ethical obligations of Judaism and rabbinic literature into entitlements of Western Christianity.

Political wisdom is not so much a method as an ethically essential approach to life and crucially needs to be combined with ethical courage or it may otherwise likely be a mere exercise in hypothetical futility. It needs however be strongly emphasized that there is no guarentee that a particular personal approach will actually produce political wisdom since political wisdom precisely requires personal judgment indeed.

We need continually engage in ethical harvest of worthy axioms from discourses of cultures around the world. Ethical axioms need to be improved and we need to study the success and failure of their respective historical applications in social context. Virtually every human being needs to become trained in the discerning art and science that is political wisdom and its practical application which is ethical courage indeed.

6. Tikkun Olam

Tikkun means “fixing” in Judaism and the concept of Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world” in Hebrew) has become particularly prominent in contemporary Jewish life in the United States with its large and very politically active Jewish community. It could be argued however that this Jewish concept has been secularized much as Zionism has secularized Judaism.

The focus in Rabbinic Judaism regarding the future was historically in the Diaspora on awaiting the mashiach (messiah) through prayer, religious studies, good deeds and ritual religious observance. With the rise of democratic Zionism and even more so in the decades after the Holocaust comes the idea in the American Jewish community that Jews should seek to remake the world into a better place through political action of helping others helping themselves, particularly within and from liberal democracies such as Israel and the United States of America.

Major American Jewish organizations came to increasingly focus on advocating for structurally oppressed groups in the United States and throughout the world and so has the organized American Jewish community become active and respected participants in the political life of the United States of America. Jews becoming agents of both Jewish redemption and world redemption through Jewish political leadership is thus one of the tremendous changes brought by Zionism.

Inventing effective, ethical solutions to intractable global problems by deconstructing those very problems needs become an intrinsic part of Tikkun  Olam. Fixing the world one problem at a time therefore requires inventing quality solutions to quantitative global problems.