Interlude of The Absolute Choice

The Philosophical and Dictatorial Suffering Servant

O.G. Rose
23 min readJan 29, 2024

An Essay on “Hume to Hegel,” Considering the Grave Game Theory Dynamics of “The State of Now”

Photo from Europeana

A reason why Hume is so passionate about maintaining a “dialectic” is because “autonomous reason” creates a feeling that we should “autonomously rule.” If we must always be dialectical with “common life” though, we can only ever be a “steward,” never a ruler who disconnects from our people without falling into “false philosophy,” a force of destruction. Everyone naturally seeks to “be right” (it is impossible to knowingly and consciously seek to be wrong), and so philosophy seeks to “be right,” which means that philosophy is primed to naturally engage in “autonomous rationality,” which is to say “nondialectical thinking.”

‘By the autonomy principle, the philosopher must consider his own system ultimately correct and to be entitled to rule over other systems; failure to do so means that he is not taking his own philosophical thinking seriously and is doing violence to his integrity as a thinker.’¹

This point is paramount, for it means thinking naturally seeks power and totalitarianism for “right” reasons, unless it is made dialectical (by choice) and forced into ‘primordial participation in custom.’² Otherwise, thinking and rationality will almost innocently stumble into ‘purg[ing] [itself] of the authority of custom,’ at which point it will be “unbound” and at the same time see itself as “rightly justified” and even obligated to “rule over other systems” — otherwise, the rationality couldn’t really take itself to be right, could it?³ And isn’t it immoral to not want others to be right (like us) and to not help them be right as such? In this way, “autonomous rationality” (which is A/A-thinking) must naturally seek making itself “totally right,” at which point it will be “epistemically immoral” for the rationality not to impose itself on others. And so a lack of dialectics (and A/B-thinking) leads to a world of competing totalitarian possibilities and forces.

‘The sense of fitness to rule, internal to the philosophical intellect, is transformed into a passion by an original propensity of the mind, which Hume thinks is triggered whenever men reach the level of philosophical reflection.’⁴

Philosophy especially tends to end up here because it is often rationality and thinking “taken to their extreme,” and basically Hume understands that “autonomous rationality” must eventually end up at this extreme, and so this is where nondialectical philosophy arrives. Postmodernism and even Neo-Pragmaticism have had similar realizations as Hume and engaged in similar efforts to stop “bad philosophy,” but in my estimation these so far have failed, mainly due to the lack of A/B-thinking. Avoiding the destructive fate of “bad philosophy” will ultimately require what could be called the “Philosophical Journey” of Hume, which is paradoxically a “(non)journey,” a Hegelian realization of what was “always already” the case. This is a dialectical and negative/sublative movement which Deleuze disliked, but without such developments we cannot “(re)turn to common life” and not experience it as “epistemically irresponsible” to be part of, causing existential suffering.

For more on the topic:

It must be elaborated on in (Re)constructing “A Is A,” but where there is no “common life,” there can be no “commitment,” something that “regularly manifests in our lives” and costs us something (“commonly”), and hence nothing “concrete.” Without the “concrete,” A/B is impossible, and the “Game Theory”-dynamics of A/A will “rationally” run their course. But perhaps this is what we subconsciously prefer, because a “real choice” is a commitment to something that we must shape our lives around, and if something happens to that commitment, that will radically impact us. If we marry, we marry someone who can get sick and that illness change our lives forever; if we resolve to start a business, that business could fail and put us into debt. Susceptible to such risk, it is far easier to believe the world is “real” and “there” (versus in a simulation), and if the world is (“practically”) not real to us, then we cannot be A/B (we must “practically” be A/A in ourselves) (A/B requires ontological distinction, not just accidental differences: A/B arises between “the idea of a cat” and “a cat,” not just between “two cats”). The world must first be real if it is going to have meaning, but if the world is real the world can impact us. Our lives can only have meaning if there is something in the world which can destroy us. Invincible, we are gods, and human gods are bored. Mystery dies, and those who live on bread alone perish — no mystery there.


Generally, there are only three possible ways for rationality to avoid naturally seeking “complete rightness” and thus compelling itself into totalitarianism:

1. Intentionally be wrong.
2. Never be “totally right.”
3. Be dialectical.

The first will not work, for we cannot think to be wrong, only to comprehend rightly, for if we think it is right to be wrong, then we are right to be wrong, and thus we have justification to force everyone to be wrong just like us.

The second option is better, but it also does not solve our problem, for even just being “more right” than others justifies us ruling over them and “epistemically obligates” us to “help others” into thinking like us. And certainly this can breed “epistemic humility,” which is good, but our humility will be weak if we don’t genuinely believe that thanks to others we could gain something through their thinking that we could not gain for ourselves (us living according to different “nonrational truths”), unless we think that we need differences to “create” something we otherwise could (A/B, Harmony, Own Barfield, “emergence,” etc.), and unless we believe that it is impossible for our rationality to technically “complete” itself “autonomously,” not merely due to finite and practical limitations (which we might think to overcome with power).

This leads us to option three, which for Hume is the only way to restraint and stop rationality from naturally becoming “autonomous” and thus seeing itself as “ethically compelled” to be totalitarian “for all the right reasons.” Without this dialectical consideration, if we follow rationality, Hume’s realization is that we must end up this way, which ironically also makes us suffer “philosophical melancholy and/or delirium,” because we have cut ourselves off from the “common life” we require to avoid such melancholy. As we follow rationality into becoming “autonomous” and thus us becoming “Philosopher Kings,” we suffer greater melancholy, precisely as we simultaneously feel ethically compelled to spread our rationality upon and over others (totalitarian), an act and “mission” which might distract us from our melancholy (or at least make it feel like we do not suffer for naught). Thus, the dictator is the Christ, God as suffering servant, and protected by that suffering from accusations of being an Anti-Christ.

Please note than when we distract ourselves from our Philosophical Melancholy by “helping others,” we do not experiences ourselves as primarily doing such — this benefit just happens to be a “secondary effect” — but rather we experience ourselves as doing what we are “epistemically responsible” to do, mainly to spread “(our/)the truth” (which we necessarily experience as “right” and thus “right” to spread). Also, Hume is not saying that we can only feel depressed and melancholic as we “heroically ascend” according to “autonomous rationality,” for we can also feel self-righteous, angry, prideful — but regardless the result is the same: philosophical tyranny. Overall, the point is that as we separate from “common life,” we tend to undergo an emotion that makes us notably threatening once we become Philosopher Kings. We will not be dispassionate and objective, because the very ascent will change us in passionate and emotional ways (for all “the right reasons”). However, we easily will not experience ourselves as “emotional,” precisely because we will experience ourself as “acting righteously” and “helping others” — the emotions we feel will easily be evidence of us “acting rightly” (which suggests why we should not assume that emotions will help with intelligence, as often seems suggested today).

Also see the work of Samuel Barnes, which can also help clarify the points of this work:

Why is it that we can become more melancholic as we remove ourselves from “common life?” Is that really what transpires? First, Dr. Livingston notes how thinking, rationality, and ultimately ‘[p]hilosophical reflection’ experiences itself as ‘emancipated from the prejudices of common life,’ and indeed philosophy will find “common life” lacking any “ultimate justification,” for such is impossible (in terms of A/A), but prior to “Absolute Knowing” philosophy does not know this (and may never know this, let alone accept it), and thus concludes there is something wrong with “common life” (and that philosophy will “one day” find its own “grounding” — it just hasn’t yet).⁵ Once philosophy realizes this, it cannot “embed” itself back into “common life” without knowing that “common life” is “ungrounded” — it is haunted by a feeling of “epistemic irresponsibility” and falsity. Philosophy is emancipated, but it is “stuck” emancipated (“no exit”), and now must experience “common life” and ‘custom to be false unless certified by autonomous reflection,’ which of course is impossible (for “common life” is fundamentally “nonrational”).⁶ A favorite line comes to mind from Speak, Memory by Nabokov, which I reference often (and that I think is also useful for understanding each negation/sublation of states in Hegel’s “Phenomenological Journey”):

‘[…] it was most satisfying to make out among the jumbled angles of roofs and walls, a splendid ship’s funnel, showing from behind the clothesline as something in a scrambled picture — Find What the Sailor Has Hidden — that the finder cannot unsee once it has been seen.’⁷

Once we see the big picture hidden among all the small pictures, it becomes nearly impossible to not see it. Likewise, once we see that “common life” isn’t “grounded” (and thus “prejudiced”), we cannot not see it as such, and so it becomes impossible to “embed” ourselves in it like we once did. We have begun our “Philosophical Ascent” and cannot stop it — the question is only how we might respond (and if we don’t respond well, we might have been better off not to have “ascended” at all, a point which brings to mind “They Live,” directed by John Carpenter, which Žižek speak on). The same logic applies once we become “Philosopher Kings,” per se, and (supposedly) realize that “we know what is right” — we cannot go back and not be someone who doesn’t feel it “epistemically responsible” to “help” everyone think like us…


‘The first moment of philosophical reflection is experienced […] as ‘heroic’ and sublime, for it takes a certain courage to alienate the totality of custom and with it one’s former self,’ but that heroism soon gives way to the melancholic and upsetting feeling that “we cannot go back.”⁸ We no longer feel like we can play cards with friends or enjoy neighborly cookouts without being frivolous, without ignoring the sufferings of the world (a feeling intensified by technology, as described in “The Grand Technology” by O.G. Rose), without enjoying privilege denied to other, without failing to “search for truth” (perhaps like Oedipa Maas) — we simply cannot enjoy ourselves like we once did (we feel “kicked out of Eden”). We have seen too much, and even if we stabbed out our eyes like in Sophocles, our mind’s eye would be wide open.

Thus, a suffering emerges after the initial “heroic act” of philosophical ascension, one we might try to hide under a feeling of self-righteousness, certainty, anger, or the like. But shouldn’t a feeling of melancholia turn us away from further philosophical ascension? Ah, but we cannot go back — we cannot unseen what we have seen — and this too is why we might become angry and rageful, all while we feel ever-more “right” in our thinking, and thus ever-more “epistemically compelled” to spread that “rightness.” In fact, we will easily feel that there is no other way for us to “embed” ourselves again in a “common life” except by spreading this “rightness” we have found and so creating “philosophical communities,” per se (which there is truth to, please note). And so our only hope might be to create some “Kingdom of Ends,” Utopia, or future which replicates “how things once were” (Eden, the Womb).⁹ And furthermore we can feel that this hope isn’t selfish, because such a world is a product and realization of (our) rightness — it will benefit everyone. And so the ascension of the philosopher already and inherently begins to sour in it essentially entailing a mechanism of “epistemic (ir)responsibility” which drives the King “rightly” into being a Suffering Dictator-Servant.

There are generally three responses the subject tends to feel as the subject undergoes “The Philosophical Ascent” out of “common life.” Pride, which is obvious enough, but there is also resentment:

‘The sublime philosopher cannot entirely forget his former self, and now, in having consciousness raised, feels resentment toward the unreflective world of custom which has so long held him under its dominion […] Philosophical contempt and resentment are not directed at anything in particular but to custom in general.’¹⁰

Though I think resentment is still present in the “ascending philosopher,” I am of the opinion that History has developed to a place where the main characteristic of the Philosopher King is melancholy, which means our problem at our Historic moment is far more difficult. To be clear, “The Philosopher King” is never a king, for the only way a person becomes a “king” is by cutting his or her self off from the “common life” necessary for “true philosophy.” Thus, the King must really be a Dictator, imposing his or her philosophy on others, including the very “common Life” needed for “true philosophy.” Notably, I am of the opinion that as History develops, Philosopher Kings more so inevitably become Philosopher Dictators (for they are increasingly more separated from “common life” due to Globalization), and then there is the question on who next the Philosopher Dictator must become. Personally, I think today it is more likely that the Philosopher Dictator becomes a “Suffering Servant” (it’s more rational/strategic) versus say a “Self-Righteous Servant” or “Prideful Servant,” because gradually History has unveiled it is wrong for a ruler to be this way (and the public is more likely to identify it). It is a better “Game Theory”-move, per se, for the Philosopher Dictator to become a “Philosophical Suffering Servant,” both because it hides the “dictator dimension,” and because “suffering” is a way to block and stop criticism.¹¹ It’s harder to oppose someone “suffering for me” versus someone “who thinks they know what is best,” for the Suffering Servant seems to have good intentions and, as philosophical, also seems wise. How can I oppose someone so smart and well-intentioned? In fact, why don’t I become someone like that (I’ll be protected from criticism, seen as a good person, and be seen as smart)? And so the general public can perhaps adopt the strategy (mimetically, perhaps), which means “the philosophical consciousness spreads,” and thus the world falls into a “Mental Health Crisis” and what some have called a “Meaning Crisis.” It’s only rational.

To review, as we undergo philosophy, we lose the ability to connect with our prior home, the world, and “common life,” and then we find ourselves in confusion and unsure of our direction (‘how can he conduct himself in a world which, in thought, he does not recognize as having authority to command judgment?’) (perhaps this is “The Meaning Crisis”).¹² The only direction we can follow is “upward” (as if in “A Little Fable” by Kafka), which is to learn more and become even more philosophical (for that is what got us here), which will worsen our alienation. And onward we will climb (as nondialectical) until we are either overwhelmed by our philosophy into action or teaching. This is because as we gain philosophy, so grows proportionately the feeling of “epistemic responsibility” that we should share and act on our philosophy (hence perhaps why there is such a collective emphasis today on “not just philosophizing”), and eventually that feeling will either crush us or we’ll “spread it” somehow. Nietzsche captures this sentiment well in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, when we are told that Zarathustra has become ‘weary of [his] wisdom like a bee that has gathered too much honey [and] needs hands out-stretched to receive it’ — however the genius of Nietzsche is that this starts Zarathustra’s journey, where the Philosophical Dictator basically ends it at this point.¹³ As in Hegel, to stop early is to be effaced — a Dante who stops midway.

When the Philosopher King feels that he must spread his philosophy through action or teaching, say to reveal the truth about “common life” as “groundless” in hopes of liberating others and possibly bringing about a better world, the Philosopher King is actually stuck in a “conflict of mind”-situation (as described in The Conflict of Mind by O.G. Rose), for “epistemic responsibility” is in conflict with “epistemic possibility,” for it is not possible for a Philosopher King to think “true philosophy” without the very “common life” the King has left behind. And so either the King accepts this impossibility and suffers the anxiety due to this conflict, or the King denies that it is not “epistemically possible” to think “true philosophy” from the King’s position outside and unembedded from a “common life.” It is likely the King will do the later while also suffering anxiety, and so the King will be a Suffering Servant, ergo a Suffering and Serving Tyrant.

All of this is what can follow if the Philosopher King does not ‘reach[] that higher stage in the dialectic that Hume calls ‘true philosophy, in which the necessity of participation in custom is recognized and the authority of the domain of custom as such is affirmed.’¹⁴ This is for us to accept “something groundless” and hence “groundlessness” as necessary, which is actually an acceptance of “Absolute Knowing” in Hegel. ‘There is an ‘absolute moment’ in Hume as in Hegel,’ which is when knowledge gains knowledge of its limitation.¹⁵ For Hume, “Absolute Knowing” is the “Absolute Skepticism” which leads us back to accepting “common life” even though “groundless” (epistemological), while for Hegel “Absolute Knowing” leads us into Science of Logic (into asking “What is ‘groundlessness,’ exactly?”) (ontoepistemological). In this way, we can see why Hume can be aligned with Phenomenology of Spirit (and even Being and Time by Heidegger, but that is an argument for elsewhere), as we can see why it is the case that ‘[f]alse philosophy occurs because the passion for truth is not strong enough.’¹⁶This is because, if it was, we’d arrive at “Absolute Knowing” — all philosophy short of this is false.

‘The good and the true must first be real,’ and for both Hegel and Hume that requires acknowledging the reality of “Absolute Knowing” and “groundlessness”; ‘otherwise the superstition internal to the philosophical act might be missed.’¹⁷ If this is indeed missed, we will be at the mercy of thought which only has to relate to itself, which means it will be omnipotent. We will be its body, yes, but we will be its avatar, as basically a hand for ‘the Midas touch of philosophical superstition.’¹⁸ What is that, exactly?

‘The heroic moment of philosophical reflection is an act of superstition in that it takes a favorite part of the order of custom [while convinced it doesn’t, for it “smuggles in” presuppositions] and, by an act of thought, opens up a distinction between reality and appearance, magically transforming a part of custom into the whole. As King Midas had the power to turn whatever he touched into gold […]’¹⁹

There is nothing we cannot philosophize about, and so everything could be turned into a subject of philosophy — and that’s the problem (if our philosophy is A/A vs A/B) — and yet we must philosophize (as Belonging Again argues). To have a “philosophical consciousness” is to be someone who engages in philosophy and thus is capable of the “Midas Touch,” which can be applied to everything and which easily feels like it ought to be applied to everything (hence a reason perhaps Hume critiques the move from “is” to “ought”). For “philosophical consciousness” to spread is for more people to feel this way, thus increasing the probability that this becomes more of a temptation and problem for more people (who will then “philosophically bump into one another” and compete). As this occurs, problematic dynamics will begin and unfold.

To touch on “The Meaning Crisis” conversation for a moment, as (and perhaps “because”) anything can be meaningful, it is the case that anything can be philosophical, and as for Hume philosophy is the cause of the problem which only philosophy can and must fix, so meaning is easily the cause of “The Meaning Crisis” which only meaning can fix. The problem is “false philosophy,” as is “false meaning,” not philosophy or meaning in general, but this distinction is paramount or else we will fall into dire mistake. To take meaning seriously is to see meaning as our biggest problem, both in its lack and in its presence, and so the same applies to philosophy. Personally, unless we know how to engage in “true philosophy,” I do not think we can overcome “The Meaning Crisis” — what we think are solutions will turn out to contribute to the problems.

However, despite the pessimism this suggests, let us also indirectly suggest “The Meaning Crisis as a Sign of Hope” by O.G. Rose in noting how:

‘No one can be a true philosopher unless he has passed through the moments of vulgar consciousness and false philosophical consciousness. And the experience of philosophical humility, piety, and folly mortifies any inclination to arrogance.’²⁰

If the entire world is increasingly forced into philosophy, then this means everyone is being forced up the dangerous “philosophical ascent,” this also means everyone is being forced on the road toward “true philosophy” (a world full of which could be better than a world otherwise).


Under Modernity, to save us all, the philosopher was ‘resolved to destroy the entire domain of custom and to replace it with the alternative world of its own self-determining reason.²¹ ²² Now though, because we are conscious of “the terrors of totalizing” this causes through the 20th Century, the philosopher (and even un-sublated Spirit) has taken on a different form in and with melancholia (which ultimately effaces). If the “philosophical act” is never humbled, it can climb into a position of being a “Philosophical Suffering Servant” and impose itself upon others. In response, the “Philosophical Suffering Servant” can either eventually die of age or be overthrown (and then feel “epistemically responsible” for regaining power “for good reason”). Today, as there are ever-more “Philosophical Suffering Servants” due to the spreading “philosophical consciousness,” there will likely be conflict and/or something dire.

If Hume is correct, “The Meaning Crisis” is primarily a result of “the loss of common life” and spread of “a philosophical consciousness” (which has not negated/sublated into “true philosophy,” A/B). This might be what is meant when thinkers discuss “the loss of religion” and the like — I’m not sure — but it should be noted here that if we think intellectual solutions will help us, we are right and yet also at risk of being perilously wrong. It radically depends on if our solutions are A/A or A/B, “autonomous” or “dialectical.” If we get this slight nuance wrong, we will make our situation worse — that is what Hume teaches (and I fear we might not even be aware of this possibility). We must play with fire, and we must be made of straw.

We cannot end “The Mental Health Crisis” unless we stop “Philosophical Melancholia,” and that requires breaking the natural movement of “autonomous rationality” (A/A) from out of “common life” into a “philosophical consciousness” in which we easily become “Philosophical Suffering Servants” who are compelled by “epistemic responsibility” to make others think like us for “their own good” (all while we are protected from critique by our “wisdom,” suffering, and “good intentions”). There is only one way to stop this, and that is by introducing a dialectic, an A/B, into A/A-thinking. Hume inserts A/B into epistemology, while Hegel goes a step further and inserts A/B into heart of reality itself. The insertion of A/B into A/A defines the Counter-Enlightenment, and Hegel is the start of the Modern Counter-Enlightenment, and arguably the most radical Counter-Enlightenment Philosopher of all in making everything dialectical.

Here, I would like to note that a reason I am so keen on connecting Hume with Hegel and Hegel with “The Modern Counter-Enlightenment” (as its origin) is because that means there is a Tradition and History to back, support, and “justify” the development of A/B-thinking (all the way back in Vico), which for both Hume and Hegel should be present if the “movement of thought” is to be justified as anything more than a passing fad. History gives authority and “reason to think” something is true, and if Counter-Enlightenment thinking has developed over hundreds of years, that means the thinking is likely a response to an “ontological condition,” not just a contingent historical moment or contingent consideration. The thinking is based on something deep, or at least we gain reason to think that, versus something contingent, and that means there is also reason to think that the thinking is “historically developing,” as emphasized in both Hume and Hegel.

Also, on a more personal note, I’d like to acknowledge how Hume’s thinking (as taught to me through Dr. Livingston) saved me from “Philosophical Melancholia” (which I associate with “The Meaning Crisis”) and from falling into “Philosophical Tyranny” (for the best of reasons), which freed me to feel that I could enjoy “common life” and not be “epistemically irresponsible.” Hume basically saved my life from philosophy, which I saw no way to rationally avoid without being “epistemically irresponsible.” Without Hume, “epistemic responsibility” would have driven me into Melancholia and/or Tyranny — I would not have escaped the “Philosophical Ascent” to a place I would have seen no “rational” way to escape.

The first “philosophical act” is heroic, but as we rise we can feel growing melancholia which obligates us to make others think like us (after all, we’re right, and it is right to make others right), and gradually it seems like there is no other hope for us to escape our melancholia then to bring about a world in which others share our philosophical visions (which would be, problematically, “the right thing to do”). This schema and feeling only intensifies as we are pulled deeper into an “internally consistent system” (nondialectical, full of “autonomous rationality”), from which there is no “good” reason to escape — this thinking is what Hume saved me from, thinking which also seems “conspiratorial” in its structure and in its skepticism of “common life.” I could also enjoy and embed myself in “common life” and not feel like I was betraying “what I knew” or being “epistemically irresponsible” — the supposed freedom of “emancipatory freedom” was replaced by something better. I did not end up lost in “philosophical consciousness,” which I do think is a central problem in the “Mental Health Crisis” and “Meaning Crisis,” neither of which can be addressed if we do not overcome “philosophical consciousness.”

There are basically only two ways to stay in “common life”: never experience a “philosophical act” (which then necessarily “pulls us upward” toward “Philosophical King/Dictator-ship”), or become dialectical. Staying in “common life” risks “the banality of evil,” but also as the world Globalizes and Pluralizes though, it becomes increasingly impossible to “never experience a philosophical act,” and so increasingly more so the average person begins “the philosophical, and ‘heroic’ ascent.” This leaves two possibilities: 1) increasingly more people become “Philosophical Suffering Servants” who follow “epistemic responsibility” (which is likely precisely because they are philosophical) into using power and acting totalitarian “righteously” (perhaps in the form of a Mass, a Mob, a leadership role — there are many possibilities, as described in Belonging Again). Or 2), increasingly more people finish “The Philosophical Journey” of Hume and become dialectical in their epistemology as A/B, which is a necessarily precondition for people to then enter the ontoepistemological A/B of Hegel. In my view, to avoid Duginism, Global Totalitarianism, and the like, A/B must be ontoepistemological, not just epistemological, hence the move from Hume to Hegel.


‘Philosophical reflection has a role in criticizing civilization, but (unless it is to degenerate into false philosophy) it can criticize only what is a mode of its own participation.’²³ However, engaging in philosophy we are always at risk of (intentionally or unintentionally) engaged in ‘[a]n act of false philosophy [which] cuts the thinker off from custom, which is the source of all belief and action.’²⁴ We must always be dialectical, and if that is the case we must be here and now (as Hegel stresses), for such is where the “concrete” can be located, and it is only between “what’s in our heads” and “what’s in the world” that we can really engage in dialectics (a deep dialectic must be between ontological differences, not differences of the same ontology, like between concepts). And we must actively and regularly employ the dialectic, because “philosophical consciousness” will always be there trying to “pull us upward” into a place of Melancholia and into becoming a Tyrannical Suffering Servant.

Intensified and perfected in philosophy, rationality naturally seeks a self-justification that approaching makes it “epistemically responsible” to spread that rationality upon others, which risks totalitarianism. Only a dialectic can stop this after the first “philosophical act,” and increasingly everyone is finding themselves having to undergo that experience (due to the sociological conditions described in Belonging Again). The clock is ticking for our “State of Now” and, as stressed in “Hegel’s Justification of Hegel,” as much as we might wish otherwise and subconsciously seek other eras, the clock cannot be reset.

As discussed in The Map Is Indestructible, Book III of The True Isn’t the Rational, our world is one besieged by “the problem of internally consistent systems,” the confusions of “Pandora’s Rationality,” the troubles of “indestructible maps,” the agonies of “conflicts of mind” — all topics deserving elaborations with which we live and find it hard to escape. “Counter-Enlightenment” thinkers were generally aware of these dangers and worked to help us avoid these problems — and we mostly ignored them in favor of “The Modern and Postmodern Dichotomy,” which has mostly landed us in “autonomous epistemology.” This is not to say that Modern or Postmodern philosophy are bad or that “Counter-Enlightenment” thinking is necessarily superior (those are different claims): my intention is only to suggest there is a line of philosophical thought which hasn’t fit into the mainline discussion, which missing has been consequential, because the resources to “dialecticize” our “philosophical consciousness” are lacking in them (suggesting they leave something to be desired in addressing our current moment).

Today, as of ‘the twentieth century […] [“philosophical consciousness” has] become, as it were, second nature.’²⁵ Today, we find that the ‘barbarism of refinement over liberty [is] in danger of destroying the actual practice of liberty,’ and indeed arguably already has done this destruction.²⁶

‘The modern state that emerges after the French Revolution is not just any kind of state; it is, among other things, a philosophically self-conscious state intent on legitimating itself in the world through the philosophical act. And whenever the philosophical act appears, a Humean critique is in order.’²⁷

It is the realization of situations like this and the resulting and spreading predicaments of “philosophical consciousness” as a whole (according to A/A) which is a defining feature of “The Counter-Enlightenment” and “The Modern Counter-Enlightenment” up to this very day. And though many Postmodernists realize a similar problem with rationality, they are still Postmodernists because they stay in A/A-thinking. At best, they introduce an A/B-epistemology (like Hume), but then they are only “Counter-Enlightenment” thinkers like Hume. To take the next step, we need an ontoepistemology that is A/B — as instigated in Hegel.





¹Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 19.

²Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 22.

³Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 23.

⁴Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 19.

⁵Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 20.

⁶Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 21.

⁷Nabokov, Vladimir. Speak, Memory. New York: First Vintage International Edition, 1989: 310.

⁸Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 23.

⁹Hence the wisdom of Hegel in shutting down all these possibilities, as described in “Hegel’s Justification of Hegel” by O.G. Rose.

¹⁰Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 24.

¹¹I would personally associate the “Philosophical Suffering Servant” with the Anti-Christ, for this is a Christ of Caesar, as requested by “The Grand Inquisitor.”

¹²Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 25.

¹³Nietzsche, Fredrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra (as featured in The Portable Nietzsche). New York, NY: Penguin Press, 1976: 122.

¹⁴Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 27.

¹⁵Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 395.

¹⁶Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 35.

¹⁷Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 29.

¹⁸Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 31.

¹⁹Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 30.

²⁰Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 47.

²¹Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 265.

²²Please note distinctions between this and “The Absolute Idea” of Hegel need to be made, as distinctions are needed between “angels of light” who appear such and are such.

²³Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 196.

²⁴Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 219.

²⁵Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 301.

²⁶Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 306.

²⁷Livingston, Donald. Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1998: 334.




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