To help you get my radical political thinking one must grasp that I am not bound to any specific political Ideology exclusively. I do as I see right. I value and support all progressive positive humanitarian and equalitarian change. I oppose hierarchical social structures as a general rule. A hierarchy (from the Greek hierarchia, “rule of a high priest”, from hierarkhes, “leader of sacred rites”) is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being “above,” “below,” or “at the same level as” one another. And as a general principle I usally am more drawn to heterarchy social structures. Heterarchy is a system of organization where the elements of the organization are unranked (non-hierarchical) or where they possess the potential to be ranked a number of different ways.
Definitions of the term vary among the disciplines: in social and information sciences, heterarchies are networks of elements in which each element shares the same “horizontal” position of power and authority, each playing a theoretically equal role. Political hierarchies and heterarchies are systems in which multiple dynamic power structures govern the actions of the system. They represent different types of network structures that allow differing degrees of connectivity. In a (tree-structured) hierarchy every node is connected to at most one parent node and zero or more child nodes. In a heterarchy, however, a node can be connected to any of its surrounding nodes without needing to go through or get permission from some other node. Socially, a heterarchy distributes privilege and decision-making among participants, while a hierarchy assigns more power and privilege to the members high in the structure. In a systemic perspective, Gilbert Probst, Jean-Yves Mercier and others describe heterarchy as the flexibility of the formal relationships inside an organization.
My political page on Facebook is: Axiological Left-Libertarian Anarchism
Axiological Left-Libertarian Anarchism is a representation of me thus is an eclectic Liberal and Leftist conceptions mainly involve Natural Rights Libertarianism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarcho-Naturism, Green Anarchism, Dialectical Naturalism, Anti-capitalism, Progressive, Secularism, Democratic Socialism, Libertarian Municipalism, Radical Minarchism, and Mutualism Political Philosophies with Axiology. For those who only know the standard Libertarian (right-Libertarian to me) this is like their opposite similar to how liberal is different than conservative. Put it easier for some on a political test I am 86% Democrat and only 7% republican. Axiological Left-Libertarian Anarchism would value municipal type minarchism small-government with mutualist socialist anarchism egalitarianism with no one for president, governor, or mayor, thus a government of several equal people not some supreme person. As such a more direct democracy government from the people by the people for the people. Two things I think you’ll find common to most mutualists: an advocacy of a kind of market socialism and a strong emphasis on ethics, particularly on “mutuality” and reciprocity. While I may be outright negative to the right, conservatives, republicans, right-Libertarians or anarcho-capitalists and at times somewhat positive to some democrat values or positions, It will challenge and attack democrats as well if applicable.
My political thinking is complicated in many ways and yet simple in others. As always, I am an axiologist thinker before any thinking or ideology and bend all thinking to axiologist thinking never the other way around. Therefore, I will address axiologist thinking first then show how it can be applied or how I would like to see it applied.
Formal Axiology addresses political science by asking, “What is a good political system?” The rules of Logic govern the rational processes in both Mathematics and Formal Axiology. Using the Formal Axiology of the philosopher of science, Robert S. Hartman, and David Easton’s concept of the political system, political scientists can now empirically and quantitatively assess the goodness of any political system in the world. Goodness can be measured according to the degree to which an actual political system fulfills the concept of a good political system, as that concept is defined by political scientists. Assessments can be made by assigning a numerical value to each of the elements in the definition of the good political system, and then quantifying how well actual processes fulfill the definition for them. Political systems can be compared, and determinations made as to which is‘good,’ ‘better,’ and ‘best’ – or ‘worst.’ Thus, political science would entail the study of both facts and values.
There is a lack of moralizing everything in Formal Axiologies Value Science such as when “good” is often defined as a conceptual fulfillment, then goodness can be measured on a scale from good, to fair, to not good, to bad, or very bad. A “very bad” chair, for example, is one that collapses when anyone sits on it. Hartman’s use of the words “good” and “bad” are descriptive of measurements based on defined concepts, or expectations. In Formal Axiology, these words are habitually free of any moralizing connotations as are usually used as degrees needed to measure like a thermometer. Temperature extremes may cause people some discomfort, but few people would call them “evil,” or “morally bad.”
Formal Axiology takes a realistic, or fact-based, view of the world. People have and act upon values. Value scientists/theorists/thinkers will seek to understand what values are, and to analyze their structure. To illustrate this realism, suppose that after church a religionist comments to a friend, that there are three things worth loving in the world which are God, ones family, and ones Dog. How would a Formal Axiologist value judge such claims of valuing? Since the science of value (Formal Axiology) has an empirical orientation, the term God is seen as a conception in the religionist’s mind not a thing in the real empirical world.
As to the religionist’s valuation of family, Formal Axiology has a special rule: living persons, and only persons, always are notated as possessing intrinsic value compared to living non-human organism. According to law, only a natural person or legal personality has rights, protections, privileges, responsibilities, and legal liability. In philosophy, the word “person” may refer to various concepts. According to the “naturalist” epistemological tradition, from Descartes through Locke and Hume, the term may designate any human (or non-human) agent which: (1) possesses continuous consciousness over time; and (2) who is therefore capable of framing representations about the world, formulating plans and acting on them. Some philosophers and those involved in animal welfare, ethology, the rights of animals, and related subjects, believe that certain animals should also be considered to be non-human persons and thus granted legal personhood. Common species considered non-human persons include the great apes, whales, dolphins, porpoises, and elephants, because of their apparent intelligence and intricate social rules. However, even though a Dog is seen as a living non-human organism not having personhood in Formal Axiology thinking, a Dog is still of greater value then a god concept because a Dog is a realistic, or fact based reality in the world unlike the concept of God which is not a thing in the real empirical world.
Formal Axiology can be seen as attached to the envisioning of a scientific ethics that would eventually displace ethics thinking especially religion as an authoritative, but not authoritarian, source of morality advice. Formal Axiologists are aware, as most rational people are, of the shameful wars that dogmatic and fanatical religions sometimes engage in against others, one another or even amongst themselves. Each side believes itself in possession of The One Truth, and therefore Morally Superior to apostates, infidels, and the heretics in the opposed religions. In the value structure of such deadly conflicts, ideas and doctrines are regarded as more important than the real human beings who are murdered in the name of such “Truths.” Indeed, such murder is considered “moral” by the Believers. But Formal Axiology can expose this hypocrisy. Killing a person in the name of a religion is formulated as the systemic valuation of the extrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value.
The religious warriors think systemic valuation it is “a good idea,” or morally honorable, to kill folks with different views or that do what they think is sinful. Nevertheless, no matter how good one pronounces such killing to be, the disvaluation of a person is contained in the self-delusion in Formal Axiology thinking. Thus are religious warriors confronted with the Real Truth, the Truth of Formal Axiology which holds ideas are never more important than people. Formal Axiology thus helps expose the real evils the disvalues posing as values of our civilization, which are chronic diseases of the so-called religious moral world.
Someone who is skeptical about the scientific aspirations of Formal Axiology might evoke the contrast between “facts” and “values.” Since the philosopher David Hume, the opinion has been widely shared that these two concepts are different in kind. Facts are considered amenable to rational understanding, but values are forever relegated to the realm of emotion, social conditioning, irrational dogmatism, or the state of one’s digestion. Nevertheless, with hindsight it becomes clear that Hume was committing the Fallacy of Method. That is, he failed to see that the phenomena of valuations in daily life are the subject matter, to be distinguished from the scientific point of view used to understand and explain those valuations. As Hartman writes, “The value dimensions follow each other in experience in any order. But they can be recognized only when their theoretical order is known.”
In other words, with Formal Axiology on a par with Natural Science, values and facts are equally amenable to rational understanding. Hartman goes on to show a logical similarity between facts and values that would surprise Hume and those who think like him about the fact/value distinction. Consider the difference between these two formal statements: “x is a C,” and “x is a good C.” “C” is a classification, or category. To say “x is a C” is to make the judgment that “x” fits in, or belongs within, category “C.” To say that “x is a good C” takes a step further by judging that “x” fits category “C” well. The first conclusion is a systemic valuation. The second conclusion is an extrinsic valuation. Thus, insofar as facts are known by taxonomy, or classification, they are first known by a systemic valuation: either “x” is such a thing, or it is not. Conversely, before the goodness of a thing can be known, its classification must be established as a matter of fact. Extrinsic “valuation is based on classification.”
Thus, factual determinations are necessarily prior to extrinsic valuations. One must know the kind of thing at hand before one can assess the degree to which it is a good such thing. “We have here the razor sharp, razor-thin distinction between fact and value.” Both formal statements relate “x” and “C” by the logic of entailment; that is, that “x” is entailed by “C.” But the factual statement merely assumes that “x” is good enough to be classified as a “C,” while the valuational statement more directly examines the value elements. These are: i) the requirements for belonging to that classification (its predicates), ii) the actual properties of “x,” and iii) how well “x’s” properties satisfy “C’s” membership requirements. By this logical operation, “value has been added to its factuality.”
Now we can see that “the factual set of descriptive properties is normative for the value field.” Hartman then discusses what value terms like “good,” “fair,” “bad,” etc. can mean. Count the essential requirements for membership in a category. Then count the number of elements a thing has which satisfy those requirements. Quantity gives rise to quality. Superlatives and comparatives can also be quantifiable axiological terms. For example, x is the best C; y is the worst C; and, p is a better C than q, etc. This method enables words that express value relations to have precise meanings. For example, “better than,” or “worse than” can be distinguished quantitatively. One can say, for example on a scale from 1 to 10, exactly why, as a C, x is better than y. The term “ought,” then, can be given a morally detached, scientific meaning. If an extrinsic valuation shows that the thing under consideration lacks properties p and q, then as a matter of measurement, it “ought” to have those properties to be fully a good such thing.
Moving from Fact to Value in Political Science
Understanding the mutual relations between fact and value, and the measuring capacity of fact for value, is crucial to the development of any particular field of value science. The social sciences, as new value sciences, will be dependent upon established fact in order to carry out their task of value measurement. To illustrate this point, we will now consider how a particular social science, political science, can be integrated into the formal system of Formal Axiology. Since the following discussion is meant only to be illustrative, some informational statements will be left unsubstantiated for the sake of brevity. As a profession, political science is far from being a unified epistemic community. There are some huge methodological divisions. Some argue that statistics gathering is the central business of political science as a science, because statistical operations are repeatable and therefore verifiable. But others argue that statistics alone do not explain behavior, which is the central aim of any social science.
To explain political behavior, the political scientist must know what meanings caused political actors to behave the way they did. Some say that to explain behavior the political scientist must use “softer” methods of information gathering, such as using the self-reports in biographies, or interviews of actors. Probably the least unity and the most friction occur among political scientists when they are asked to define the “good” or “just” society. One issue is that the self-identified “scientists” say the very question is irrelevant to their work, but others call that hypocrisy and say these so-called “value neutral” political scientists tacitly assume, like Hegel, that “what is good.” That is, by their very refusal to be critical, they imply that all is well with the status quo. Whether political scientists as a profession should become involved in public policy debates is another issue. There are “normative political philosophers” who say that taking part in politics should be the profession’s primary purpose. Nevertheless, the more prevalent view is that of the “behavioral political scientists” who argue that “science” requires political detachment. These are just some of the intense controversies in the field. Perhaps by presenting political science as one of the value sciences, and showing how it can be made to connect with Formal Axiology thus clearly assess the goodness of any political system in the world. What are the implications of Formal Axiology for assessing the value implications of public policies, laws, and government actions?
Formal Axiology employing progressive logic shows that the common element is a logic of values, which takes as its basic premise that “all persons always deserve positive regard.” From this primary value axiom two “fallacies” and two “enhancements” follow.
Two Value Fallacies:
. The Ideological Fallacy — to value ideas over persons.
. The Instrumental Fallacy — to value persons solely for their usefulness.
Two Value Enhancements:
. The Ideological Enhancement — using ideas to enhance or enrich the lives of persons.
. The Instrumental Enhancement — using persons to enhance or enrich their lives. These principles of value logic are applied to numerous aspects of life, culture, and public policies.
Formal Axiology and Karl Marx?
According to William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. a formal Axiologist Karl Marx wrote with an astute intuitive grasp of Formal Axiology. While he never articulated the processed structures of Formal Axiology, or wrote of the three categories of value, or understood the word “good” as Formal Axiology defines it, his sense of value reality, and of the natural order of values, and especially of the nightmarish disorder of values in capitalist society, remains unparalleled. Marx’s criticisms of social relations in the capitalist system follow Formal Axiology thinking. Marx formulated his conception of the person, the human individual, as an intrinsic value early in his career. He did this in the course of criticizing religion, by which he generally meant European Christianity.
In his 1844 essay, “Critique of Hegel ‘s Philosophy of Right,” Marx wrote that “the criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticisms.” The reason for this is that “The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself like his own true sun.” Marx recognized that while religious doctrines purported to be statements of Universal Truths, they were more forcefully value ideologies. Doctrines like man as sinner and God as the Supreme Being had huge consequences on the values that folks believed in. Such dogmas as “original sin” taught people a moralistic low self-evaluation, and consequently to accept the feelings of unworthiness and powerlessness before the All-Mighty. In Marx’s view, this value milieu of self-loathing and learned helplessness before God conditioned the person to acquiesce to ruling class domination and capitalist exploitation, as if he or she were deserving of such treatment. Marx understood that people with low self-esteem, who see the highest values as outside and above humanity, are more likely to accept oppressive and degrading socio-economic conditions than are people with high self-esteem and pride. That is why, for Marx, what is needed is the man whose values “will move around himself like his own true sun.”
Marx wrote: “Man’s self-esteem, his sense of freedom, must be re-awakened… only with its aid can society ever again become a community of people that can fulfill their highest needs.'” As we will see, those “highest needs” are for human liberation from oppression and toil, so that people can live in a self-governing society dedicated to the development or humane human potential. In the terms of Formal Axiology thinking, the situation in which having a person with low self-esteem is a benefit to the capitalist system can be written as the positive systemic valuation of the intrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value. To positively value the negative condition in which a person has learned self-loathing, the intrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value, is an axiological contradiction. Value consistency requires self-esteem: or, the intrinsic valuation of an intrinsic value.
Yet, to Marx’s outrage, this contradiction in values was taught by religion’s capitalist-serving ideology, as a corrective, Marx wanted to humanize society by raising human self-esteem so that people will act accordingly to change their social conditions. As mentioned, to begin this process requires the criticism of religion. Then he wrote: “The criticism of religion ends with the doctrine that for humans the supreme being is humans, and thus with the categorical imperative to overthrow all conditions in which humans are debased, enslaved, neglected and contemptible being. Contrary to religion, Marx’s supreme value is, then, that man himself is the supreme value. Humanity is the summit of Marx’s value hierarchy.
Just as in Formal Axiology thinking the person is the only one of intrinsic value, so for Marx there is no higher value, nor higher power, than humanity. Because Marx sees that a great part of humanity is a “debased, enslaved, neglected and contemptible being” in the capitalist system, human liberation and from this value environment is an urgent necessity. This too follows the anthropocentric atheism arguments connecting to Axiological Atheism which also favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to God. Beyond Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre and Freud and others even if not knowing it all used Axiological Atheism arguments to some extent to convey messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness.
Now on to a specific issue “affirmative action.”
I was asked if I supported or opposed affirmative action?
Affirmative action: the practice of improving the educational and job opportunities of members of groups that have not been treated fairly in the past because of their race, sex, etc.
Hell yes I support it!
I would rather that things like race, sex, gender, et cetera simply had no impact on how we judge and interact with others. This desire of sudden, unconditional equality should not be a reason for us to ignore the societal need for affirmative action, if indeed such need does exist though. I am a socialist anarchist mutualist seeing value in individuals and the collective who does not believe in political disengagement in current systems as some do. For me all change towards positive progressive change is positive change. I am for revolutionary frameworks and movements committed to dismantling the institutions which politically, economically, sexually and psychically oppress all outgroups because of their race, sex, sexual or gender identity, class, etc.
I am for all positive change I am for reforms that benefit the worker in the here and know and push for real change abolishing capitalism and working towards a mutualism left libertarian anarchist society. I am not for reformism as I do not wish for capitalism to continue. Being a supporter of reforms and improvements in the here and now does not hinder my anarchist seeking to expose and attack the root causes of societal problems.
For example, in the here and now as a reformist I look at ways to lessen the destructive and debilitating effects of poverty: this produced things like the minimum wage and workers rights. But likewise as an anarchist I look at what causes poverty and work to attack that source of poverty, rather than just the symptoms. I could never be satisfied with just a reformist style because even if there is some succeed in the short run, the festering problems remain untreated.
Like how an emergency room doctor can do some here and now good treating the symptoms of a disease without getting rid of what causes it, all the reformist can promise is short-term improvements for a condition that never goes away and may ultimately kill the sufferer. My long-term goals of socialist anarchist, like a real doctor, investigates the causes of the illness and treats them while fighting the symptoms.
It must be pointed out that the struggle for reforms within capitalism is not the same as reformism. Reformism is the idea that reforms within capitalism are enough in themselves and attempts to change the system are impossible (and not desirable). As such all anarchists are against this form of reformism — we think that the system can be (and should be) changed and until that happens any reforms will not get to the root of social problems.
We need revolutionary politics. That means politics that can lead us towards a genuine socialism where freedom knows no limit other than not interfering with the freedom of others. A socialism that is based on real democracy – not the present charade where we can choose some of our rulers, but may not choose to do without rulers. A real democracy where everyone effected by a decision will have the opportunity to have their say in making that decision. A democracy of efficiently co-ordinated workplace and community councils. A society where production is to satisfy needs, not to make profits for a privileged few, we need “Anarchism.”
Revolutionary socialism encompasses multiple social and political movements that may define “revolution” differently from one another. These include movements based on Orthodox Marxist theory, such as Luxemburgism, Impossibilism and DeLeonism; as well as movements based on Leninism and the theory of Vanguardist-led revolution, such as Marxism-Leninism, Trotskyism and Maoism. Revolutionary socialism also includes non-Marxist movements like anarchism, revolutionary syndicalism and some forms of democratic socialism. It is used in contrast to the reformism of social democracy, which is not anti-capitalist in form. Revolutionary socialism also exists in contrast to the concept of small revolutionary groups seizing power without first achieving mass support, termed Blanquism.
Anarchism is a socio-economic and political theory, but not an ideology. The difference is very important. Basically, theory means you have ideas; an ideology means ideas have you. Anarchism is a body of ideas, but they are flexible, in a constant state of evolution and flux, and open to modification in light of new data. As society changes and develops, so does anarchism.
An ideology, in contrast, is a set of “fixed” ideas which people believe dogmatically, usually ignoring reality or “changing” it so as to fit with the ideology, which is (by definition) correct. Ideologies are the nemesis of critical thinking and consequently of freedom, providing a book of rules and “answers” which relieve us of the “burden” of thinking for ourselves.
I do not worship people or ideologies, I respect behavior and ideas. I see Ideas or behaviors I like and ones I do not.
Even in myself when I look, back at the last five years I see how we can change ideas and if following reason and evidence that shows something different, expand on the understanding or contradicts we should desire to change. However, sometimes even knowing change is needed is not the same as welcoming change. I wish to strive for greatness of staying humble to learn and change. People are people I see they too must suffer being human with all that entails and learn from them what I can never forgetting they are but their thinking and behavior a fluid not fix thing.
I am a mostly a mutualist socialist anarchist, and a supporter of Axiological Left-Libertarian Anarchism.
By Damien Marie AtHope
I leave you with a song that mirrors my thinking somewhat Creed-One