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The self is the model of a concept, Hegel said.

Oh yeah? Hegel said that?

Yes and no. Hegel’s model for a concept in this sense is the Kantian category, which he says is “both self and being”. That is to say, when reasoning categorially one is cognizing the world in a way that can easily become part of an apperceptive self. Concepts are the “selves” of objects, with “being-for-self”, insofar as they figure in a Kantian story about how the world is being open to rational cognition on the part of a human individual. Consciousness as we experience it can never leave the bounds of this kind of cognizability, nor does Hegel’s Seyn leave the ‘rational metrics’ of a subjective dialectic.

Frequently in the Phenomenology Hegel describes Für-sich-sein as equivalent to “being for us”, the rationally developed intellects. This is no monadological story about how everything has ‘wings’; rather, Hegel’s concepts show how close reason must stay to cognition for objects to ‘make sense’. Hegel’s own accounts of human action then build on this, where more complicated Sitten or “mores” have a ‘built-in’ grasp of the objective world. Perhaps Hegel’s system is “nothing but a new presentation of the Kantian” in this sense; the famous “contradiction in the object” is not really to be found in it.


You know what? I’m glad Osama Bin Laden is dead, and this seems to me a wholly unproblematic viewpoint for a leftist to have. The 2000s seemed to be not a decade of ultra-right jeremiads, but to be strangely captivated by the viewpoints and goals of fundamentalist Islam: to be like Noam Chomsky, viewing the person of OBL as worthy of more consideration and TLC than the average American counts on in everyday life, seems a wrongheaded and muddled view of contemporary international law (Castro’s diatribes to the US contain a sort of exigent double-speak and are not in the same category). If you make it your business to blow up innocent civilians, do not expect life will be endless sunshine.

And, given the grittiness of life in “the Arab street”, presumably the militants of al-Qaeda did not and do not expect to be treated like ordinary protesters. Although I am not a “realist”, I think it is time to return to a common-sense view of America’s public-safety needs; avoiding Herman Cain’s flustered bigotry, but avoiding classing harsh and belligerent Arab high-school students stuck on the ‘positive true meaning’ of the word “jihad” as something akin to Mexican braceros. The left must have a popular mentality and avoid falling for easy outs based on “red herrings” from totalitarian viewpoints; many an argument is lost from the first “I agree with you, but…”, for in the presence of eminent realities like 9/11 a legalism of human rights is often everything but.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings “Inspiration Information”

(Shuggie Otis cover)

Hole “Over the Edge”
(Wipers cover)