Metaphysical Notes on Usury,
Darwinism, and Madness in Capitalism
The Supreme Principle of Reason
The supreme principle of reason says: "nihil est sine ratione. . . nothing
is without a reason."1 I quoted this principle at
the head of this Book for a reason.
Heidegger on Reason. What does the principle of reason
tell us? Here is what Martin Heidegger, one of the greatest philosophers of this century,
says it tells us. The principle of reason states "nothing is without
reason," or, in the affirmative, "everything has a reason."2
A "change in tonality"3 allows us to take a sudden "leap
of thinking"4--from what is revealed
in the principle of reason to what is concealed prior to the leap. What is revealed is
"nothing is without reason." What is concealed is "nothing is
without reason."5 What does the "is" refer to? For
Heidegger, the "is" refers to "the being of beings"6--to our human existence. Being and reason are the
same. "[H]umans are the animal rationale, the creature that requires accounts
and gives accounts."7 We require accounts when we ask 'why.' We give
accounts when, as reckoning creatures, we answer the 'why' with 'because.'8
What is "at stake"9 in every 'why' is not the mere 'why,' but the
'why' in terms of our Being.10
Today, people around the world are giving themselves up recklessly to the
"calculative thinking"11 of the
marketplace. People calculate what is better--a
loan or a lease--; but, they seldom reflect on the
meaning of usury. Why? Because they are too busy being indentured. The marketplace
is not the place where people buy and sell freely, without coercion. Milton Friedman's
"free private enterprise exchange economy" is a figment of his
imagination: too many important economic transactions are neither "bi-laterally
voluntary" nor "informed."12 A
simple thumbing of daily newspapers reveals the marketplace as the locus of much deceit,
fraud, corruption, usurpation, wickedness, suffering, and misery. The marketplace, as
currently constituted, is a wicked "game of catallaxy."13
The "creative destruction"14 in Capitalism has
absolutely nothing creative or enlightened about it.
The substantial increase in the per-capita mortality of businesses in places like the
United States and Canada says much about Being and wealth creation in these places. It is
time we listen to what the statistics say. Here's what they say. The potential loss of freedom in the marketplace can be monstrous.
Hundreds of millions of people have become indentured in the marketplaces of the world
considered the most enlightened and free. Canada is a land of fabulous wealth and
resources. Why is it that debt outstanding of persons and unincorporated businesses, as
percent of personal disposable income, has risen in Canada from 71% in 1984 to 100.9% in
1994? Canada's population is a mere 30 million. Why is it that 551,645 consumers and
businesses had to go bankrupt in Canada, during the ten-year period ended in 1995?
What is concealed in the destruction? What is the source of the power from whence
all destructive economic actions proceeds?15 Is
the "creative destruction" in Capitalism worthy of our Being?
We must heed
Heidegger's "world-question of thinking."16
--and their managers. The power of the "calculative
thinking" of science and technology is at an all-time high; but that of
"reflective thinking" leaves much to be desired.17 We can build
machines with more calculative brainpower than most executives and bankers are
endowed with, yet we cannot check the poverty that begs in the financial capitals of the
world--ironically, not too far from Automatic Banking
Machines. This is why Heidegger asked in his Address in 1956:
Heidegger's World-Question of Thinking. Evidence of technological sophism
is everywhere. But so is evidence of reckless economic destruction, greed, rapaciousness,
and lust for power and dominion. Scientists have split the nucleus, have built a worldwide
web of information, and are perfecting intelligent robots that will replace workers
"If this is the way it's going to be, may we give up what is worthy of thought
in favor of the recklessness of exclusively calculative thinking and its immense
achievements? Or are we obliged to find paths upon which thinking is capable of responding
to what is worthy of thought . . . ?"18 [my emphasis].
Sufficient Reasons--Darwinistic Manipulations of the Rule of Law
In this book I have occupied myself with "rendering sufficient reasons"19 for the possible destruction of small funding-limited firms.
I have tried to understand what can determine--more precisely,
underlie or ground--the modern relationship of the
entrepreneur qua wealth creator to his banker qua usurer. The expert system
rules that I have assembled are not intended to be a comprehensive or complete
representation20 or schema of destructive experiences in Capitalism. For
example, expert system rules cannot bring into full view the real suffering, pain,
destitution, and misery which are experienced by many entrepreneurs and
their families when their firms are destabilized, bankrupted, abnormally liquidated,21 or cannibalized by rapacious creditors or their agents,
following speculative overinvestments--not necessarily by the
destabilized firms, but by speculators and their bankers!
But the assembled rules do
reveal and illuminate modes of Capitalist thinking-and-doing insofar as these can be
unconcealed a priori.22
The evidentiary rules, even if parsimonious, reveal the categories and the
a priori conditions for the possibility of creative destruction and wealth
predation in so-called liberal democracies. Much more important, they unconceal the
potential for destruction from Darwinistic manipulations of the Rule of Law. The
manipulations are Darwinistic insofar as they give stealthy "advantages, however
slight,"23 to Big Business or Big Government at the
expense of Citizens. The advantages, qua manipulations of the Rule of Law, guarantee the
formation of what Adam Smith called "absurd and oppressive monopolies."24
Darwinistic manipulations of the Rule of Law are
potentially most dangerous because they cause power and wealth to accumulate and
concentrate ipso facto in a few Masters.
THE ESSENCE OF OUR BEING IN CAPITALIST SOCIETIES CANNOT MEAN
CONCENTRATION OF ABSURD AND OPPRESSIVE POWERS OF IMPERIUM AND DOMINIUM25 IN A FEW LORDS--AND DEEP BONDAGE FOR THE MULTITUDE. SUCH
ESSENCE CANNOT CONFORM
TO THE WILL OF A FREE PEOPLE.
We must heed Heidegger's "world-question of thinking." We must bring into
view what is concealed and suppressed under the sophistical splendor of the rhetoric
of the so-called "free" marketplace. We must guard ourselves against the
deceptive sophistry of the marketplace and the ideological ramblings of its champions. We
must unconceal 'causality' in the marketplace--we must
understand and relate 'effects' and 'causes' (and veiled aims, interests, and motives).
must decode the thinking of the Capitalist--in the legislation and in the procedures and practices of the
marketplace--insofar as it affects our economic
Being. Most important, we must not lack the will to get to the bottom of things--and the courage to act accordingly.
The Madness in Capitalism
Every bankruptcy is a potential tragedy--a struggle with
guilt and evil.26 More than half a million consumer
and business bankruptcies, in a country of thirty million, over ten years (approximately
the duration of the last business cycle), is a real-world monstrosity. What is hidden
in this number? What is repressed?
The large number of business failures hides two things:
- Profound disruptions in the marketplace.
- Deep separation of banks from the reality of entrepreneurial wealth creation.
Entrepreneurial wealth creation requires unity between the entrepreneur and his
banker. Business disruptions and failures result when this unity breaks down. The
disruption occurs when the banker cannot recognize his aims and interests in those of the
entrepreneur--and vice versa.
Let me use Hegel's philosophical mode of thinking--specifically,
his philosophy of lordship and bondage27--to look more closely at this point. The self-consciousness of the
entrepreneur is focused on wealth creation, for the purpose of liberating itself from
economic bondage. The self-consciousness of the banker is focused on usury. But what is
usury? It is nothing but the bondage of the entrepreneur. This means that the
reality of the entrepreneur qua wealth creator is directly opposed to the reality
of the lender qua usurer. And what does this mean? Hegel's Philosophy of Mind
provides the answer.
According to Hegel, insanity is "a state in which the mind is shut up
within itself, has sunk into itself, whose peculiarity . . . consists in its being no
longer in immediate contact with actuality but in having positively separated
itself from it"28 [italics in the original].
This definition has been analyzed by Daniel Berthold-Bond in Hegel's Theory of Madness.29 It should be very interesting to apply this analysis to
bring into view the potential for economic madness in Capitalism.
In his analysis, Berthold-Bond explains how the disruption of the unity of Reason and
Nature gives rise to "two centers of reality in insanity."30
This decentering is nothing but a shifting out, an absolute separation
of the subjective and the objective realities31--and, therefore, a deranged break in the "unity of
Thought and Being."32
--a perfect unity of Thought and
Being. In insanity, on the contrary, the unity and the difference of the subjective and
the objective still have a merely formal significance from which the concrete
content of the actual world is excluded."34
Unity of Thought and Being. To understand the notion of madness in the
marketplace one must understand the notion of insanity in general, and, more importantly,
the notion of the "healthy soul."33 Here's what Hegel had to
say on this subject:
"There is more rationality in even the mere feeling of the healthy
soul than . . . in insanity, since it contains the actual unity of the subjective
and objective. . . [T]his unity, however, only receives its perfect form in speculative
Reason; for only what is thought by this is true in regard both to its form
and its content
What does this mean? In the healthy marketplace, the "unity of Thought and
Being" of the entrepreneur and his banker is perfect or near perfect. In the insane
marketplace, this unity is totally shattered. Instead of unity, two contradictory
realities conflict: the reality of usury (the being-for-self of lordship) and the
reality of entrepreneurial wealth creation (the being-for-another of bondage).
If the usurer "clings"35 to the idea that the Being of the
entrepreneur is nothing but Bondage, when the "actual objectivity"36
of the free will of entrepreneurial wealth creation contradicts it, then the
usurer's idea is not only absurd but patently insane. It is precisely this irrational
clinging and fixation from whence originates the madness in Capitalism. (See Plate 6-1.)
Could the sudden withdrawal of credit from sound funding-limited firms result from a decentering
of the self-consciousness of lenders from that of borrowers, following overinvestments
(e.g., in commercial real estate) at banks and trust companies? Could the sudden
withdrawal of credit mask a serious break in the connection of bankers with the real world
of the entrepreneur. Could the "splitting up"37
of the Capitalist reality--into the reality of usury and the reality of wealth
creation, the reality of lordship and the reality of bondage--account
for the possibility of economic madness in the marketplace?
The high per-capita business mortality rates and consumer failures in Canada and in the
United States conceal large-scale economic disruptions, pain, and alienation in Canada and
in the United States. Behind the gloss and sparkle of the marketplace is concealed a
massive disruption of unity--the potential for economic
madness. The despair is compounded when bankers cannot recognize themselves in the
usury they produce; and when entrepreneurs cannot liberate themselves from the narcissism
of usury as bondage. Both, in and through their desires, fail to achieve "the
unity of the self with the world it inhabits" and "the unity of the self with
But why the destruction? When the self-consciousness of the usurer destroys an
independent funding-limited firm, it "gives to itself the certainty of itself as a true
certainty"39 of lordship. But in so doing it
destroys the rational unity--the condition sine qua
non of the healthy soul.
Without such unity, the potential for economic
madness increases. And so does the potential for economic despair--and
for political upheaval.
Theory of Economic Madness
I must say a few words about the need for a Theory of Economic Madness. The
future of our Being in the world is haunted by potential destruction from evil and madness--"that evil which is always latent in the heart, because the
heart as immediate is natural and selfish."40 The
tragedy of evil is intricately bound up with the "deranged consciousness"41 of usurious Being in the marketplace. The self-consciousness
of usury is an "inner perversion"42 of the
self-consciousness of wealth creation. It is a contradiction of our "own
essential being."43 As such, it is a perversion of
Plato and Aristotle on Usury. Plato was hostile to usury.
"There must be no lending at interest, because it will be quite in order for the
borrower to refuse absolutely to return both interest and principal," he declared in The
Aristotle also thought usury unnatural. His primal argument against usury
in Politics ran as follows: "The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most
reason; it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it from the process
which currency was meant to serve. Currency came into existence merely as a means of
exchange; usury tries to make it increase. . . Hence we can understand why, of all
modes of acquisition, usury is the most unnatural"45 [my emphasis].
When the Rule of Law favors Darwinistic net advantages, the Being of beings is
disrupted. Hegel wrote: "sound Reason knows immediately what is right and good."46 If the law is self-contradictory insofar as it gives
Darwinistic advantages to some at the expense of others, then the law is not grounded in
itself as Reason, but in the "archaic past of the soul."47
The high levels of consumer and business failures are manifestations of the illness
in the marketplace--more precisely, in the Rule of Law that
caters to that marketplace.
Reflective thinking asks: what are the roots of idiocy, folly, and
manic frenzy in the marketplace?48 Consider these
characteristics of Capitalism:
fixed idea49 of the Capitalist mind is Greed
plain and simple.
- People are artificially separated into Rich and Poor--Lender
and Borrower. The tragic splitting up of the self-consciousness of the rich lender qua usurer
from that of the borrower entrepreneur (in all of us) qua wealth creator is
stealthily enframed in the Rule of Law. In its most succinct form, this
polarization of consciousness--this splitting up of
self-consciousness into the usurer's being-for-self and the wealth creator's
being-for-another50--has been codified by Solomon as
"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is
servant to the lender" [Proverbs 22:7; italics in the original, my
Accordingly, Capitalist success has little to do with swiftness, strength,
wisdom, understanding, and skill.51
In an evil time, following speculative overinvestments, sound funding-limited
" . . . as the fishes that are taken in an evil net,
and as the birds that are caught in the snare . . ." [Ecclesiastes 9:12; my
- The sudden and deliberate withdrawal of credit from sound
funding-limited firms (the sudden freezing, reducing, or calling of loans), when
calculated to destabilize and cannibalize these firms, following overinvestments by
speculators and their bankers, is a crude manifestation of the narcissistic spirit of
in Capitalism. What is the nature of this instinct? To answer this question I propose we
listen to Kant. Kant held that "there is in man a natural propensity to evil"53 and that "wickedness . . . is the propensity of the
will to maxims [rules of conduct] which neglect the incentives springing from the moral
law in favor of others which are not moral."54
"evil is radical" when the propensity to evil "corrupts the ground
of all maxims."55 Let's follow Kantian logic for
a moment. What happens when the destabilization and destruction of funding-limited firms
becomes an "inextirpable"56 propensity
of the financial will in the marketplace--a corruption of
the grounds of the administrative procedures of usury in the marketplace? Destruction,
usurpation, pain, misery, destitution, and despair all increase. And what can you impute
such destruction to? Kantian logic says: To nothing but "radical
evil." What else does this logic tell us? According to Kant, there is a perverse
"insidiousness" to the human heart.57 It
shines when the implicated human hearts deceive themselves "in regard to their own
good and evil dispositions," and "picture themselves as meritorious" simply
because they consider themselves "justified before the law."58
Apparently, the "innate guilt"59 of
self-consciousness requires that Darwinistic net advantages be enframed in
legislation. The enframed selective advantages of the lender secure the
endurance of his dominion-by-agreement over the borrower.
Despair, Wickedness, and Evil. The connections between
labor and despair, between wickedness and iniquity, between vanity and evil disease have
long been known to Man. Kant's discovery of radical evil, Hegel's philosophy of lordship
and bondage, and Nietzsche's theory of Eternal Return of the Same are
brilliantly anticipated in Ecclesiastes:
Labor and despair. " . . . Then
I looked on all the works that my hands had brought, and on the labour that I had laboured
to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no
profit under the sun" [Ecclesiastes 2:11] . . . "Therefore I went about to cause
my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun" [Ecclesiastes
Eternal return of the same--wickedness
and iniquity. "That which hath been is now; and that which
is to be had hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. And moreover I saw
under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the
place of righteousness, that iniquity was there" [Ecclesiastes
Vanity and evil disease. "There is an evil which I have seen under the sun,
and it is common among men: A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and
honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth
him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is
an evil disease" [Ecclesiastes 6:1-2; my emphasis].
|1 See Martin Heidegger, The
Principle of Reason, translated by Reginald Lilly, 1991, at 3 ("The principle of
Ibid., at 40.
Ibid., at 39 and 52-58.
Ibid., at 53 ("The principle [Satz] of reason
is a Satz in the eminent sense of being a leap") and 60 ("leap of
Ibid., at 40.
Ibid., at 80 and 125 ("the tiny word 'is' names the being
Ibid., at 41-42 ("why" and "because")
and 129 ("humans are the animal rationale . . . ")
Ibid., at 32-49, especially 36 ("The 'why' seeks
grounds. The 'because' conveys grounds"), and 125-127.
Ibid., at 112 (" . . . When God plays, a world comes
to be a play in which they [humans] are at stake").
Ibid., at 44 ("The principle of reason is . . .
not a statement about reason, but about beings, insofar as there are beings") and
49 ("The principle of reason is an uttering [Sagen] of being. It
is this, but in a concealed manner.").
Heidegger's expression; Ibid., at 122 and 129 (on
"calculative thinking" vs. "reflective thinking").
According to Friedman, the possibility of the market
place rests on voluntary co-operation, or "the elementary--yet frequently denied--proposition that both parties to an
economic transaction benefit from it, provided the transaction is bi-laterally
voluntary and informed" [italics in the original]. See Milton Friedman, Capitalism
and Freedom, with the assistance of Rose D. Friedman, 1962 and 1982, at 7-21 (The
Relation between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom), especially 13.
On the operation of the market system as a game--a "game of catallaxy"--, see Friedrich A. Hayek, Law,
Legislation and Liberty, Vol. 2, 1976, at 107-132 (The Market Order or Catallaxy).
Hayek claimed that "freedom is inseparable from rewards," and that rewards
"have no connection with merit" (at 120). People who play the game according to
the "rules of just conduct" are not guaranteed a "just" outcome (at
126). But there is one consolation: "all coercive measures of government should be
equally likely to benefit anybody's chances" (at 126). This view is consistent with
Ecclesiastes 9:11: swiftness, strength, wisdom, understanding, and skill, do not guarantee
the outcome of the "race"--only "time and chance" do. This doctrine can
be distorted to legitimize fraudulent deviations from Justice. The distortion is a wicked strategy calculated to debase or ruin the
connection between reason and reality, for the hidden purpose of
legitimizing the idolatry of Money. Of course the game can be turned around
against Capitalists: imagine all borrowers inaugurating a new "game of
catallaxy" where interest and loan repayments are not guaranteed--because they are a function
of "time and chance"!
The notion of "creative destruction" in Capitalism is
due to Schumpeter; see Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
(1942), with a new Introduction by Tom Bottomore, 1976, at 81-86 (The Process of Creative
Destruction), and 143-155 (Growing Hostility), especially 145 ("individual insecurity
. . . is of course the best recipe for breeding social unrest").
Leibniz defined the relation between power and causality
as follows: "As power is the source whence proceed all actions, the
name of cause is given to the substances in which these powers reside, when they
reduce their power to act; and they call effects the substances
produced by this means, or rather the simple ideas . . . , which, by the exercise
of power are introduced into a subject." See Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, New
Essays Concerning Human Understanding, translated by Alfred Gideon Langley, 3rd ed.,
1949, at 221-224 (Bk. II, Ch. XXII).
See Martin Heidegger, The Principle of Reason, 1957,
1991, at 117-129 ("what is worthy of thought").
Ibid., at 122 ("the difference between mere
calculative thinking and reflective thinking").
See Martin Heidegger, The Principle of Reason,
1957, 1991, at 129 ("the world question of thinking").
Leibniz identified two supreme principles of reason in La
Monadologie, as follows: "Nos raisonnements sont fond--s sur deux grands
principes, celui de la contradiction . . . Et celui de la raison suffisante . .
. " See Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, La Monadologie, based on the
Critique of --mile Boutroux, with an introduction by Jacques Rivelaygue, 1990 (Grasset),
1991 (Librairie G--nerale Fran--aise), at 140-141. On the Kantian transcendental method of
thinking and the "rendering of sufficient reasons," see Martin Heidegger, The
Principle of Reason, 1957, 1991, at 75-83 (Lecture Ten).
On "[t]he critical question . . . concerning the a
priori conditions for the possibility of the representation of objects of
experience," see Martin Heidegger, The Principle of Reason, 1957, 1991, at 77.
21 "Abnormal Liquidation" is Schumpeter's expression;
see Joseph A. Schumpeter, Business Cycles (1939), 1964, at 125 and 430.
22 For Kant's method of thinking, see Immanuel Kant, Critique
of Pure Reason (1781), a revised and expanded translation based on Meiklejohn, edited
by Vasilis Politis, with an Introduction and Chronology by J.M. Dent, 1993, at 76-77
(concepts, thought, and understanding), 78-79 ("understanding as an absolute
unity" and "common representation"), 85 (categories), 106 (understanding),
94-97 (causality), 96 ("concepts of objects in general must lie as a priori
conditions at the foundation of all empirical knowledge"), 98-99 (The Possibility of
a Connection in General).
23 Darwin's expression; see Charles Darwin, The Origin of
Species (1859), in Darwin, 2nd ed., edited by Philip Appleman, 1970, 1979, at
24 Smith's expression; see Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
(1776), edited by Edwin Cannan, with a Preface by George J. Stigler, 1976, Vol. Two, Book
IV, Chapter VIII, at 165.
25 For insights into the origins of imperium and dominium
in modern law, see Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law, 1922,
1954, at 107-132 (Property), especially 111.
On "the close association between madness and tragic
action," see Daniel Berthold-Bond, Hegel's Theory of Madness, 1995, at 7
(Sophoclean tragedies as "struggles with guilt and evil").
G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), translated
by A.V. Miller, with Analysis of the Text and Foreword by J.N. Findlay, 1977, at 111-119
(Lordship and Bondage), and 343 (being-in-and-for-self and being-for-another).
G.W.F. Hegel, Hegel's Philosophy of Mind, Part
Three of the Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1830), translated by
William Wallace, together with the Zus--tze in Boumann's Text (1845), translated by
A.V. Miller, with Foreword by J.N. Findlay, 1971, at 131.
See Daniel Berthold-Bond, Hegel's Theory of Madness,
See Daniel Berthold-Bond, Hegel's Theory of Madness,
1995, 41. See also Hegel's Philosophy of Mind, 1971, at 128.
See Hegel's Philosophy of Mind, 1971, at 128
("shifted out," "two centers," and "deranged idea,")
and 129 ("'What I think is true', . . . receives in the mentally deranged a wrong, an
irrational meaning . . . that the subjective and objective are absolutely separate").
Ibid., at 129 ("perfect unity of Thought and
Ibid., at 129 ("healthy soul").
Ibid., at 129.
Ibid., at 128 ("Error and folly only become madness
when the individual believes his merely subjective idea to be objectively present to him
and clings to it in face of the actual objectivity which contradicts it").
Ibid., at 128.
Hegel's expression; See Hegel's Philosophy of Mind,
1971, at 130 ("splitting up").
On Hegel's phenomenology of desire, see Daniel Berthold-Bond, Hegel's
Theory of Madness, 1995, at 46-47 (Desire).
Hegel's expression; see Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit,
1977, at 109 ("self-consciousness is Desire").
See Hegel's Philosophy of Mind, 1971, at 124 (-- 408).
See also the discussion of evil and guilt in Daniel Berthold-Bond, Hegel's
Theory of Madness, 1995, at 169-172, especially 170 ("It is thus the unconscious--or more generally, nature--which is identified with evil for
Hegel, and which is the source of guilt").
Hegel's expression; see Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit,
1977, at 225.
Hegel's expression; Ibid., at 225.
Hegel's expression; Ibid., at 225.
44 Plato, The Laws, translated with an Introduction by
Trevor J. Saunders, 1970, at 211-214 (The Possession of Money), especially 211.
Aristotle, Politics, translated by Ernest Barker,
revised with an Introduction and Notes by R.F. Stalley, 1995, at 28-30 (on usury: 1258a35),
and 30-33 (on monopoly: 1258b39), especially 30.
For Hegel's discussion of self-consciousness and Reason, see
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, 1977, at 252-256, especially 253 (Reason as
On the archaic soul in madness, and sources, see Daniel
Berthold-Bond, Hegel's Theory of Madness, 1995, at 4-6, and 206-211 (The Missing
Link: Poverty, Destitution, Social Marginalization), especially 207.
Hegel distinguished between three types of madness: idiocy,
madness proper or folly, and mania or frenzy; Ibid., at 21 (Hegel's Typology of
According to Hegel, madness proper "occurs when the
natural mind which is shut up within itself . . . acquires a definite content and
this content becomes a fixed idea . . . "; see Hegel's Philosophy of Mind,
1971, at 133-135 (The Second Main Form of Insanity--Madness Proper).
For Hegel's philosophy of lordship and bondage, see
G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, 1977, at 111-119 (Independence and
Dependence of Self-Consciousness: Lordship and Bondage), and 342-343 (man as a
"Thing"; being-in-and-for-self and being-for-another).
See Ecclesiastes 9:11.
On the death instinct, see Sigmund Freud, On
Metapsychology,Vol. 11, compiled and edited by Angela Richards, 1955, 1957, 1958,
1961, 1962, 1964, 1984, at 311 (death instinct) and 316 (life and death instincts).
See Immanuel Kant, Religion Within the Limits of Reason
Alone, translated with an Introduction and Notes by Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H.
Hudson, with an essay by John R. Silber, 1934, 1960, at 15-39 (The Radical Evil in Human
Nature), especially 32.
Ibid., at 25 (wickedness).
Ibid., at 32 (radical evil).
Kant's expression; Ibid., at 32.
Ibid., at 33 ("insidiousness of the human
heart (dolus malus)").
The quotes are from Kant's discussion of "deliberate guilt
(dolus)"; Ibid., at 33.
Kant's expression; Ibid., at 33 ("innate
|MADNESS IN CAPITALISM
MODEL OF THE UNHEALTHY ECONOMIC SOUL--BASED ON HEGEL'S PHILOSOPHY
THE DERANGED ECONOMIC
The difference between the
lender qua usurer and the borrower qua wealth creator is maintained artificially by
Darwinistic net advantages favoring Usury. The advantages are enframed in
the Law. What happens when the soul splits up into: (A) being-for-self
of lordship (Usury); and (B) being-for-another of bondage
(Entrepreneurial Wealth Creation)? According to Hegel's Philosophy of Mind, if
Usury "clings" to the idea that the Being of the entrepreneur is nothing but
Bondage, madness rears its ugly head. Instead of economic unity and harmony, a
deranged business cycle unfolds:
AND THE BUSINESS CYCLE
create and distribute bank-money in the form of loans or credit.
entrepreneur borrows to create new wealth. He becomes indentured and saddled with risks.
entrepreneur transforms real or fictive bank-money into new wealth and pays interest and
finance speculators. Excessive collective overinvestments at banks and trust companies
lead to a "credit crunch"--and considerable
economic instability. The value of collateralized assets melts down. The consciousness of
the lender qua usurer separates itself from that of the entrepreneur: it withdraws in
itself and destabilizes or disrupts the entrepreneur--by suddenly and
deliberately freezing, reducing, or calling his loan. If it succeeds, it can, when
possible, move to take control or ownership positions in the entrepreneur's wealth. If, in
addition, it is evil and rapacious, it cannibalizes and destroys the entrepreneur's firm--and follows with
abuses of commercial power.
Capitalism: A Model of the Unhealthy Economic Soul--Based on Hegel's
Philosophy of Mind and Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
Model draws on Daniel Berthold-Bond's analysis of Hegel's general theory of madness.1
The Model is based on and provides an economic interpretation of Hegel's theory of
insanity, in combination with his philosophy of lordship and bondage. The key ideas
behind the Model are:
- From Hegel's
Philosophy of Mind.2 In the healthy soul, "Thought and Being" are
perfectly united3 (lower). In insanity, the unity is shattered.
Consciousness is "split up" into two separate and contradictory personalities
which are in direct conflict with each other4 (top). Madness occurs when
the mind "clings" to a "fixed" subjective idea "in face of
the actual objectivity which contradicts it."5
- From Hegel's
Phenomenology of Spirit.6 "Self-consciousness is Desire."7
It can exist in two forms: in and for itself, or for another. Being-for-self
is lordship; and being-for-another is bondage or servitude.8
Daniel Berthold-Bond, Hegel's
Theory of Madness, 1995.
2 G.W.F. Hegel, Hegel's
Philosophy of Mind (1830), tr.
William Wallace, together with the Zus--tze in Boumann's
Text, tr. A.V. Miller, with Foreword by J.N. Findlay, 1971, at 122-139.
3 Ibid., at 129 ("perfect
unity of Thought and Being").
4 Ibid., at 126
5 Ibid., at 128
("fixed idea" and clinging in madness).
6 G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology
of Spirit (1807), tr.
A.V. Miller, with Analysis of the Text and Foreword by J.N. Findlay, 1977.
7 Ibid., at 109
8 Ibid., at 111-119
(Lordship and Bondage) and 343 (being-in-and-for-self and being-for-another).
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