Monday, April 23, 2012

The logoi of power relations

Bryant has an informative blog post dated 4/22/12 on “relation, language and logic.” Therein he describes what I'd call a better version of vision-logic but of a very different kind that kennilingus. His distinctions allow a greater depth of analysis that expose the power dynamics in keeping certain worldviews hegemonic while marginalizing and manipulating the powerless. Such distinctions include how voices are related and not related, that such (non)relations are forged and not given, and how they are forged and maintained. A certain truth-propositional logic assumes that relations are pre-given and thus takes for granted as axiomatic the concomitant assumptions of the current power structure and thus perpetuates it. We see this for example in the likes of kennlingus conscious capitalism, which unconsciously assumes a propositional formal logic under the guise of vision-logic and thereby ignores the marginalized and perpetuates the power regime. Select excerpts of Bryant's more integral (ouch!) version follows:

“Politically, many of our problems revolve around non-relation or the fact that no relations are present between two or more regimes. In my own thought I distinguish between dark, dim, bright, and rogue objects.... A dim object is an object that minimally manifests itself in a situation but only very dimly and in a marginally related way. Immigrants, the homeless, leftists (in the States), women at academic philosophy conferences, etc., are all examples of dim objects.... Their voices go unheard with respect to majoritarian organization and policy. Bright objects would be those entities that strongly manifest themselves in a situation, exercising a strong gravitational pull on other entities. For example, white males and the 1% in the United States are bright objects. Rogue objects, finally, are objects that erupt within situations from without...[like] OWS.

“The point is that politics is not so much about relation but non-relation.... It is above all relations or what happens when things that relate that interest me; not individual entities in isolation. I just always make the caveat that things don’t come already related; they must be engineered, built, constructed. In this regard, leftist politics is always an engineering of relations through rogue objects for dim objects. It strives to more thoroughly relate the unrelated, the dim. By contrast, rightwing politics is a practice that strives to engineer relations that make bright objects brighter and to ensure that dim objects remain dim or minimally manifest.

“We need a logic of events capable of capturing– what I would call, in my language or terminology –the situatedness of propositions in regimes of attraction. In other words, propositions resonate in very different ways depending on differences in the regime of attraction in which they occur.... My aim here is not to reject the formalisms of logic. Rather, the point is to indicate that formalism is not enough to account for the richness of worlds or logoi. The danger that resides in approaching situations purely in terms of truth-functional logic and structures of entailment is that it risks keeping dim objects dim and bright objects bright by failing to attend to the networks of relation and non-relation that organize the logoi of these situations.”

I've often referenced Mark Edwards on power relations from a more AQAL perspective. I do so again below, from part 5 of an ILR interview:

"For me, a true recognition of the role of difference in integral theory means that we need to introduce a few more lenses into the integral toolkit. In recognizing the transformative value of the space between, we also need a lens that is sensitive to this mediating space. The lens of social mediation is, for me, just as crucial in developing an integral approach as the developmental holarchy of levels or the interior-exterior lens. To give but one example, in seeing that transformation is socially mediated we become much more sensitive to the issue of power and to the influence of social power on human development.... Recognising the space between leads me immediately to issues of social power and to the question of how power enables or disables transformation. I see the almost complete lack of discussion around social power in integral theory to be a reflection of its neglect of the space between, social relationships, and the capacity to analyse human development in terms of social mediation. In other words, integral theory lacks a mediation lens. People get stuck in one structure of identity, not only because their interior developmental potentials are psychologically arrested, but also because the social environment in which they live actively stops that developmental potential from flourishing. There is nothing more threatening to the position of those in social power than transformation. Power is inherently conservative because change means the possibility of losing their privilege, their status, their ideological dominance."

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.