I’ve repeatedly stated that my goal at the Enlightenment Underground
is to better understand how there might be a repetition, with difference, of the Enlightenment.
This repeated statement of my goal finally prompted from Carl Sachs the question: just what would such a repetition with difference of the Enlightenment be?
I’ve written that I see the Enlightenment as rearticulation, or revaluation, of the value of human material reality over and against human spiritual reality, which, though related, is not the same.
Human spiritual reality interacts with human material reality in ways which can either stifle human energies or help them be released….allow them to become, and to become productive.
Therefore, I see the repetition with difference of the Enlightenment as occurring through a more radical and far-reaching rearticulation away from the remnants of "spirituality" in the direction of a more vital and viable materiality.
I consider this shift towards human material reality, which requires actual creativity, to constitute an affirmation of materiality.
The eighteenth century Enlightenment, considered against the medieval backdrop from which it emerged, was an affirmation of materiality and a revaluation of the primary importance of the “spiritual” or religious, in life.
It was a “secularization.”
I haven’t succeeded here in giving Kant enough credit for his anti-clericism, and his destructive energy and creative violence – but this aspect of Kant’s work must be acknowledged. It’s just that as the backdrop from which our own thought must emerge, Kant’s thinking serves, in intricate and complex ways, to prevent our own wresting of an affirmation of human material reality.
I think that it becomes important for me to outline how I think a furthering of affirmation of human material reality is possible.
The following are the crucial unexplored elements of this furthering: 1) multiplicity-mechanics; 2) “outside”-“other”; 3) “affirmation”; 4) "difference" ; 5) “subjectivation”.
I’m saying that multiplicity thinking or practice is crucial to the furthering of the development of materialism.
I’ve said before that multiplicity thinking is actuated by the thought of the outside or the other – I’m therefore making the outside and other part of my list for practices of creating a viable materialism.
I’m now saying that affirmation is a practice of materialism, a "material" practice... materialism requires “affirmation, ( and how this works is very important to what I have to say, later.)
Subjectivation isn’t some weird “superstructural” effect of material infrastructure – or worse, a dispensible and trivial side effect – I now assert that subjectivation is a crucial cog, valve, or relay ( i.e. is a mechanical component) of a working concept of materiality.