Friday, September 9, 2011

A Review of Griffin's "9/11 Ten Years Later"

A Review by Thomas C. Fletcher
Posted first on Amazon

David Ray Griffin in his new book, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes against Democracy Succeed, stock of what we know, after the passage of a decade of intensive grassroots research and analysis, about what really happened that day, and of the present state of the 9/11 truth movement - its strengths and its weaknesses, and how it can move forward most effectively. The book is a combination of important lectures given by Griffin in the last few years, revised and updated for publication, and of completely new essays on key topics, such as the strong evidence that the phone calls from the hijacked airliners must have been faked, and the powerful consensus about the Pentagon events that has been achieved by the movement. 

The first four chapters highlight the strongest evidence that 9/11 was an inside job and the clearest implications of that evidence: the lack of evidence that Muslims attacked the US on that day (making clear that the ten-year-long series of wars on Muslim nations is morally and legally unjustified); the multiple occasions on which the laws of physics were miraculously inoperative in the destruction of the World Trade Center, if the official account so ferociously defended by erstwhile critics of government like Bill Moyers, Robert Parry, Alexander Cockburn and many others is to be believed; and the extraordinary case of WTC 7's classic demolition, which has been assiduously covered up by the mainstream media and government agencies (its collapse was never even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report, and the final report on its destruction issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in November 2008 was fraudulent). 

Chapter 5, "Phone Calls From The 9/11 Planes: Why They Are Not Authentic," examines all the evidence that has been discovered regarding phone calls from the hijacked airliners. The phone calls have been a crucial part of the official story of the day's events, purportedly establishing that the planes were hijacked by Arab Muslims and that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. But after a careful, critical analysis Griffin is forced to conclude that the phone calls were not made from the planes. First he shows that there is no evidence that the alleged hijackers actually were ever onboard any of the planes, and further, that the failure of any of the eight pilots to "squawk" the hijack code into their transponders is "strong evidence that the official story about the 9/11 planes -- that the cabins were taken over by hijackers - is false." He then shows that the calls to Deena Burnett, which registered on her caller ID as calls from her husband Tom Burnett's cell phone (he was a passenger on board Flight 93), could not have been completed because cell phone technology in 2001 was not capable of completing calls from airliners at high elevation. Griffin concludes the calls had to have been faked, and suggests that they were faked by voice morphing, already a well-established technical capability at the time. After examining the claims made for many other calls, including those for Barbara Olson, wife of then Solicitor General Ted Olson, which were the basis for the claim that Flight 77 was still in the air and subsequently crashed into the Pentagon, Griffin concludes that "the evidence that the `calls from the planes' were faked is strong, ... far stronger than the evidence for the view that the calls were made by passengers and flight attendants, describing the activities of Middle-Eastern hijackers." 

Chapter 6 discusses Vice President Dick Cheney's changing account of his whereabouts and activities at key times during the morning of 9/11. After admitting on national TV five days later that he had been present and in charge in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center in the basement of the White House before the Pentagon was attacked, he changed his story in November and claimed he did not reach the PEOC until after the Pentagon attack. Griffin shows that the 9/11 Commission Report upheld Cheney's otherwise unsupported second account, which absolved him of responsibility during two key incidents, the Pentagon attack and the destruction of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. He shows further that much evidence, ignored by the Commission, contradicted Cheney's second story, including Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta's testimony before the Commission, Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke's published account of the morning, and reports from ABC News on the first anniversary of 9/11, all of which the Commission buried without mention. 

The gem of the book is the seventh chapter, "The Pentagon: A Consensus Approach." In this very detailed analysis Griffin shows that the 9/11 truth movement has developed a complex, broad-based refutation of the official story of what happened at the Pentagon (that "the Pentagon was attacked by American Airlines Flight 77... under the control of al-Qaeda"). He examines fourteen facts which have been established by independent researchers, upon which there is universal agreement, and any one of which is enough to demolish the official account. Griffin argues that the movement should concentrate its Pentagon energies on further strengthening and advocacy of these points of agreement, and avoid dissipating time, energy and trust on a question which has taken up much of these resources in recent years, the question of "what hit the Pentagon?" He shows that this question is unanswerable with the evidence available; only a genuine investigation of the 9/11 attacks will enable it to be answered. 

Chapter 8 illuminates the psychology of resistance to the truth about the 9/11 events which is so widespread, arguing that the real faith of the nominally-Christian US is "nationalist faith." The critique of the official story laid out by the 9/11 truth movement is literally unthinkable for many, even for devout Christians whose religion calls upon them to avoid all kinds of idolatry, including nationalism. Griffin concludes that "[w]hen Christian faith is subordinated to faith in American goodness ... it becomes a blinding faith, producing Christians with eyes wide shut." 

The subtitle of the book indicates that the 9/11 attacks, in being a false-flag operation carried out by elements of the US government, were a "State Crime Against Democracy" or SCAD, with the primarily political purpose of imposing policies by force upon the country, and that the failure to carry out a genuine investigation, arrest the perpetrators and reverse the policies adopted by the government after 9/11 means that the operation has succeeded. But only to this point in time: the future is still open. Griffin provides in a powerful conclusion (Ch. 9, "When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed") suggestions for how the 9/11 truth movement can continue to press forward to the necessary investigation of the 9/11 crimes and the reversal of the tragic course taken by the US while under the control of the criminals. 

This superb book is written with the usual clarity, logic and argumentative power readers have come to expect from David Ray Griffin, which he has now employed in ten books on the 9/11 attacks. 9/11 Ten Years Later continues his advance at the cutting edge of 9/11 truth, and should be read by everyone who wants to take stock of what the movement has achieved and how to press on into a future in which illegal, immoral wars have been stopped and the country's democratic ideals reaffirmed.

Read all of Mr. Fletcher's helpful, literate Amazon reviews of Dr. Griffin's 9/11 books here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

David Ray Griffin on 9/11: Ten Years, Ten Books

In this, his tenth book on 9/11 and its consequences, David Ray Griffin continues to report the facts and marshal the evidence that the mainstream media continue to ignore. Having previously demolished the official 9/11 story, Griffin now explains how the government got away with its crime against democracy. - Paul Craig Roberts, formerly assistant secretary of the treasury and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has most recently written How the Economy Was Lost.
Anyone who has actually studied Griffin's writings on 9/11 knows that the evidence against the truth of the official account is overwhelming. It is not surprising that the mainstream response has been to ridicule and ignore rather than to engage in reasoned discussion. What is disappointing is that leading liberals and responsible journalists have joined in by affirming ideas that contradict basic science and condescendingly rejecting solid research without examining it. In this book, Griffin describes the behavior of these journalists and attempts, in a remarkably charitable spirit, to understand it. - John B. Cobb, Jr., author of The Earthist Challenge to Economism and (with Herman Daly) For the Common Good.
Publisher's Description: 9/11 Ten Years Later is David Ray Griffin's tenth book about 9/11. Asking in the first chapter whether 9/11 justified the war in Afghanistan, he explains why it did not.

In the following three chapters, devoted to the destruction of the World Trade Center, Griffin asks why otherwise rational journalists have endorsed miracles (understood as events that contradict laws of science). 

Also, introducing the book's theme, Griffin points out that 9/11 has been categorized by some social scientists as a state crime against democracy.

Turning next to debates within the 9/11 Truth Movement, Griffin reinforces his claim that the reported phone calls from the airliners were faked, and argues that the intensely debated issue about the Pentagon - whether it was struck by a Boeing 757 - is quite unimportant.

Finally, Griffin suggests that the basic faith of Americans is not Christianity but "nationalist faith" - which most fundamentally prevents Americans from examining evidence that 9/11 was orchestrated by U.S. leaders - and argues that the success thus far of the 9/11 state crime against democracy need not be permanent.

Why yet another book on 9/11? Because, as David Ray Griffin points out clearly and persuasively, 9/11 continues to be not only the greatest crime in American history, but also the most strenuously covered up, and certainly the crime with the greatest political consequences. He shows how over a decade the events of 9/11 and the reports on them have been used to attack the American democratic system. Above all, he documents the success of this attack -- by the refusal of the media, the academy, and religious institutions to openly discuss these matters, and by the numbers of critics who at one extreme have made fools of themselves in echoing the Orwellian official version, and at the other extreme have been either fired or silenced after their dissent from it. - Peter Dale Scott, a poet, a former Canadian diplomat, and a professor at the University of California (Berkeley), whose most recent prose book is American War Machine.
Our civilization cannot survive if we do not confront the unanswered questions about 9/11. David Ray Griffin does that with the same clarity and meticulous documentation that characterized his preceding books. Frightening as the enormity of the truth about 9/11 may be, we should also bear in mind that it is a window of opportunity for addressing a whole range of problems threatening the lives of our children and grandchildren. I am sure those who follow will recognize David Ray Griffin's body of work as one of the most important contributions of the last decade. - Niels Harrit, Associate Professor Emeritus, Nano-science Center, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen

David Ray Griffin is professor of philosophy of religion and theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, where he remains a co-director of the Center for Process Studies. 

His previous 9/11 books include Cognitive Infiltration (2010), The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7 (2009), 9/11 Contradictions (2008), and The New Pearl Harbor Revisited (2008), which was a Publishers Weekly's "Pick of the Week." 

In 2009, the New Statesman named Griffin one of "The 50 People Who Matter Today."

9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed is not yet available on Amazon for $13.46. Those who cannot wait until it is may buy it from Interlink Books for $20 starting September 1, 2011.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

For Rothbard's 85th: Long-Out-of-Print Essay on Vietnam, Ayn Rand, and "anarcho-capitalism"

Murray Rothbard would have reached the age of 85 today. The promotion of liberty was the theme of his life, to which finis was written (all too soon) on January 7, 1995.  

 Murray Rothbard circa 1971

He believed the worst thing a state can do is not tax income, regulate business, or forbid peaceful transactions.  
No, the worst thing one state can do is use its prestige and legitimacy (or, failing that,  its monopoly of the means of coercion) to persuade its subjects to invade another state's territory to kill its subjects.
During the Vietnam War, Rothbard, a veteran of the non-interventionist Old Right, so wove his opposition to the war into his libertarian apologetics that some observers inferred that he had betrayed the Right and allied himself with the Left.  
Of course, he hadn't moved a millimeter along the political spectrum. In his view, the traitors were to be found among the so-called "respectable" Right.
Bearing a publication date of forty years ago yesterday, in the year the Libertarian Party was founded, "Know Your Rights" shows off Murray's legendary ability to expound political strategy and narrate history for a mass audience. He knew many readers would  probably be little interested in libertarianism for the intellectual stimulation it offered: they were facing the alternative of either allowing themselves to be put in kill-or-be-killed predicaments via "Selective Service" or becoming fugitives from the law (which spawns its own bleak alternatives: incarceration vs. exile).  They were asking: were radical free market advocates on their side? Or the government's?
This issue of WIN also featured essays by Leonard Liggio (“Your Right to Be against War”) and Karl Hess (“What’s Left?”), who also figure in Rothbard’s narrative.
It is probable that Rothbard's neologism, “anarchocapitalism,” makes its first appearance in print here. This essay also notably offers the first libertarian critique of Objectivist politics.  (Rothbard’s “The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult,” which goes into its subject in greater detail, was written in 1972, privately circulated, and published in Liberty only in 1987.)
About the title, suggestive of a pamphlet offering legal advice: in a font smaller than that of “Know Your Rights,” and separated from that phrase by a "torch of liberty" image, appear the words “The Right Wing Libertarians.” They are not part of the title according to the table of contents (or Rothbard’s bibliography), but they reflect Rothbard’s subject better than does “Know Your Rights."
The text of this essay has been on my site since last Decemberthe Libertarian Alliance [U.K.] copied and linked to it herebut the two anniversaries, the article's 40th and Murray's 85th, warrant another posting. I also wish to express gratitude to my brother Vince for digging this copy of WIN out of his files and bringing it to my attention.

Know Your Rights

Murray N. Rothbard

From WIN: Peace and Freedom through Nonviolent Action
Vol. 7, No. 4, March 1, 1971, 6-10.

Recently, a bewildering and seemingly new phenomenon has burst upon the public consciousness, “right-wing libertarianism.” While earlier forms of the movement received brief and scornful attention by professional “extremist” baiting Liberals, present attention is, almost miraculously for veterans of the movement, serious and respectful. The current implication is “maybe they’ve got something here. What, then, have they got?”
Whatever their numerous differences, all “right-wing libertarians” agree on the central core of their thought, briefly, that every individual has the absolute moral right to “self-ownership,” the ownership and control of his own body without aggressive interference by any other person or group. Secondly, libertarians believe that every individual has the right to claim the ownership of whatever goods he has created or found in a natural, unused state: this establishes an absolute property right, not only in his own person but also in the things which he finds or creates. Thirdly, if everyone has such an absolute right to private property, he therefore has the right to exchange such property titles for other titles to property: hence the right to give away such property to whomever he chooses (provided, of course, that the recipient is willing); hence the right of bequest—and the right of the recipient to inherit.
The emphasis on the rights of private property of course locates this libertarian creed as emphatically “right-wing,” as does the right of free contract implying absolute adherence to freedom of enterprise and the free-market economy. It also means, however, that the right-libertarian stands foursquare for the “civil liberty” of freedom of speech, press, and assembly. It means that he necessarily favors total freedom for abortion, pornography, prostitution, and all other forms of personal action that do not themselves aggress against the property of others. And, above all, he regards conscription as slavery pure and simple. All of these latter positions are of course now regarded as “leftist,” and so the right-libertarian is inevitably put in the position of being some form of “left-rightnik,” someone who agrees with conservatives on some issues and with leftists on others. While others therefore see him as curiously fluctuating and inconsistent, he regards his position as virtually the only one that is truly consistent, consistent on behalf of the liberty of every individual. For how can the leftist be against the violence of war and conscription and morality laws while yet favoring the violence of taxes and government controls? And how can the rightist trumpet his devotion to private property and free enterprise while favoring conscription and the outlawing of activities he deems immoral?
While of course opposing any private or group aggression against the rights of private property, the right-libertarian unerringly zeroes in on the central, the overriding aggressor upon such rights: the State apparatus. While the leftist tends to regard the State as an evil enforcer of private property rights, the right-libertarian, on the contrary, regards it as the prime aggressor on such rights. In contrast to believers in democracy or monarchy or dictatorship, the right-libertarian steadfastly refuses to regard the State as invested with any sort of divine or any other sanction setting it up above the general moral law. If it is criminal for one man or a group of men to aggress against a man’s person or property, then it is equally criminal for an outfit calling itself the “government” or “State” to do the same thing. Hence the right-libertarian regards “war” as mass murder, “conscription” as slavery, and—for most libertarians—“taxation” as robbery. From such past mentors as Herbert Spencer (Man vs. the State) and Albert Jay Nock (Our Enemy the State), the right-libertarian regards the State as the great enemy of the peaceful and productive pursuits of mankind.
With this as the central core of libertarian thought, we must now investigate the numerous facets of the right-libertarian spectrum; and, despite the numerous difficulties of such an analysis, it is still most convenient to align the various tendencies and factions of right-libertarianism on its own “left-right” continuum.
On the extreme-right fringe of the movement, there are those who simply believe in old-fashioned nineteenth-century laissez-faire; the major laissez-faire group is the Foundation for Economic Education, of Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, for which many of the middle-aged members of the right-libertarian movement have worked at one time or another.
The laissez-fairists believe that a central government must exist, and therefore that taxes must exist, but that taxation should be confined to the prime “governmental” function of defending life and property against attack. Any pressing of government beyond this function is considered illegitimate. The great bulk of libertarians, especially among the youth, have, however, gone beyond laissez-faire, for they have seen its basic inconsistency: for if taxation is robbery for building dams or steel plants, then it is also robbery when financing such supposedly “governmental” functions as police and the courts. If it is legitimate for the State to coerce the taxpayer into financing the police, then why is it not equally legitimate to coerce the taxpayer for myriad other activities, including building steel factories, subsidizing favored groups, etc? If taxation is robbery, surely then it is robbery regardless of the ends, benevolent or malevolent, for which the State proposes to employ these stolen funds.
Most libertarians also reject the laissez-fairist position that it is morally imperative to obey all laws, no matter how despotic, as well as the all-too-common laissez-fairist patriotic devotion to the American Constitution and the American State. They have also found current laissez-fairists (though this was not true of the nineteenth-century brand) to be conspicuously silent in mentioning the heavy responsibility of big business for the growth of statism in twentieth-century America, instead, the blame is almost always placed on unions, politicians, and leftish intellectuals. Moreover, almost never is there criticism of the greatest single force accelerating the Leviathan State in America: the military-industrial complex, and the American Empire fueled by that complex. For all these reasons, the old-fashioned laissez-faire position has lost credibility for the bulk of today’s right-libertarians.
Moving one degree leftward, we come to the Randian and neo-Randian movements, those who follow or have been influenced by the novelist Ayn Rand. From the publication of Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged in 1958, the Randian movement developed into what seemed to be destined as a mighty force. For the emotional impact of Rand’s powerfully-plotted novels attracted a vast following of young people into her “Objectivist” movement.
In addition to the emotional drawing-power of the novels, Randianism provided the eager acolyte with an integrated philosophical system, a system grounded on Aristotelian epistemology, and blending it with Nietszchean egosim and hero-worship, rationalist psychology, laissez-faire economics, and a natural-rights political philosophy, apolitical philosophy grounded on the libertarian axiom of never aggressing upon the person or property of another.
Even at its peak, however, the effectiveness of the Randian movement was severely limited by two important factors. One was its extreme and fanatical sectarianism; Randians refused to have anything to do with any person or group, no matter how close in outlook, who deviated by so much as an iota from the entire Randian canon—a canon, by the way, that has a rigid “line” on every conceivable question, from aesthetics to tactics.(An odd exception to this sectarianism, by the way, is the Republican Party and the Nixon Administration, which includes several highly-placed Randians as advisors.) Particularly hated by the Randians is any former colleague who has deviated from the total line; these people are reviled and personally blacklisted by the faithful. Indeed, Rand’s monthly magazine, The Objectivist, is probably the only magazine in the world that consistently cancels the subscription of anyone on their personal blacklist, including any subscribers who send in what they consider to be un-worshipful questions.
The second, associated factor is the totalitarian atmosphere, the cultic atmosphere, of the Randian movement. While the official Randian creed stresses the importance of individuality, self-reliance, and independent judgment, the unofficial but crucial axiom for the faithful is that “Ayn Rand is the greatest person who has ever lived” and, as a practical corollary, that “everything Ayn Rand says is right.” With this sort of ruling mentality, it is no wonder that the turnover in the Randian movement has been exceptionally high: attracted by the credo of individualism, an enormous number of young people were either purged or drifted away in disgust.
The collapse of the Randian movement as an organized force came in the summer of 1968, when an unbelievable bombshell struck the movement: an irrevocable split between Rand and her appointed heir, Nathaniel Branden.
Since then, the Randian movement has happily become polycentric; and Branden repaired to California to set up his own schismatic movement there. But the latter is still a movement confined to psychological theories and publications, and to book reviews in the occasionally appearing Academic Associates News. As an organized movement, Randianism, whatever variant, is a mere shadow of its former self.
But the Randian creed still remains as a vital influence on the thinking of libertarians, so many of whom were former adherents to the cult. Politically, Rand is to the left of the laissez-fairists in rejecting taxation as robbery, and therefore illegitimate. Rand saw through the illogicality, the inconsistency, of the laissez-faire view of taxation. Randian political theory wishes to preserve the existing unitary state, with its monopoly over coercion and ultimate decision-making; it wishes to define its “government” as a Utopian institution which retains its State monopoly but gains its revenue only by voluntary contributions from its citizens. Still worse, while Randians agree that taxation is robbery, they stubbornly refuse to regard the government—even the existing government which lives off taxation—as a band of robbers. Hence, Rand illogically infuses into the political outlook of herself and her charges an emotional devotion to the existing American government and to the American Constitution that totally negates her own libertarian axioms. While Rand opposes the war in Vietnam, for example, she does so on purely tactical reasons as a mistake not in our “national interest”; as a result, she is far more passionate in her hostility to the unpatriotic protestors against the war than she is against the war itself. She advocated the firing of Eugene Genovese from Rutgers, on the surprisingly anti-individualist grounds that “no man may support the victory of the enemies of his country.” And even though Rand passionately opposes the draft as slavery, she also believes, with Read and the laissez-fairists, that it is illegitimate to disobey the laws of the American State, no matter how unjust—so long as her freedom to protest the laws remains.
Finally, Ayn Rand is a conventional right-winger, as well, in her attitude toward the “international Communist conspiracy.” While Randians are not exactly champions of war, they are prevented by their simplistic diabolism from absorbing the revisionist view of American foreign policy—from realizing that the Cold War and American interventions overseas have been caused by the expanding aggressions of American imperialism rather than by a noble response to “Communist expansionism” by the “freest nation on earth.” Randians persist in the right-wing myth that the antipode of individualism is Communism, whereas the real antipode to liberty in America today is far different, the existing Corporate Monopoly Welfare-Warfare State.
Many neo-Randians, devoted as they are to logical analysis, have seen the logical clinker in Randian political theory; that if no man may aggress upon another, then neither may an outfit calling itself “government” presume to exert a coercive monopoly on force and on the making of ultimate judicial decision. Hence, they saw that no government may be coercively preserved, and they therefore took the next crucial step; while retaining devotion to the free market and private property, this legion of youthful neo-Randians have concluded that all services, including police and courts, must become freely marketable. It is morally illegitimate to set up a coercive monopoly of such functions, and then revere it as “government.” Hence, they have become “free-market anarchists,” or “anarcho-capitalists,” people who believe that defense, like any other service, should only be provided on the free market and not through monopoly or tax coercion.
Anarcho-capitalism is a creed new to the present age. Its closest historical links are with the “individualist anarchism” of Benjamin R. Tucker and Lysander Spooner of the late nineteenth century, and it shares with Tucker and Spooner a devotion to private property, individualism, and competition. Furthermore, and in contrast to Read and Rand, it shares with Spooner and Tucker their hostility to government officials as a criminal band of robbers and murderers. It is therefore no longer “patriotic.” It differs from the older anarchist in not believing that profits and interest would disappear in a fully free market, in holding the landlord-tenant relationship to be legitimate, and in holding that men can arrive through reason at objective law which does not have to be at the mercy of ad hoc juries. Lysander Spooner’s brilliantly hard-hitting No Treason, one of the masterpieces of anti-statism and reprinted by an anarcho-capitalist press, has had considerable influence in converting present-day youth to libertarianism.
It is safe to say that the great bulk of right-libertarians are anarcho-capitalists, particularly among the youth. Anarcho-capitalism, however, also contains within it a large spectrum of differing ideas and attitudes. For one thing, while they have all discarded any traits of devotion to the State and have become anarchists, many of them have retained the simplistic anti-Communism, devotion to Big Business, and even American patriotism of their former creeds. What we may call “anarcho-patriots,” for example, take this sort of line: “Yes, anarchy is the ideal solution. But, in the meanwhile, the American government is the freest on earth,” etc. Much of this sort of attitude permeated the Libertarian Caucus of the Young Americans for Freedom, which split off or were expelled from YAF at the embroiled YAF convention at St. Louis in August, 1969. This split—based on their libertarianism and their refusal to be devoted to such unjust laws as the draft—led to the splitting off from YAF of almost the entire California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey sections of that leading conservative youth organization. These groups then formed “Libertarian Alliances” in the various states.
A group of older anarcho-capitalists centered in New York founded the Libertarian Forum as a semi-monthly, in early 1969, and formed the Radical Libertarian Alliance, which had a considerable impact in fueling and sparking the 1969 YAF split in St. Louis. Its ideas were propagated among the youth with particular effect by Roy A. Childs, Jr. Childs had particular effect in converting Jarret Wollstein from Randianism to anarcho-capitalism and then to a realistic view of the American State. Wollstein, an energetic young Marylander, had been ejected from the Randian movement, and had formed his own Society for Rational Individualism, publishing the monthly National Individualist. Finally, at the end of 1969, Wollstein’s SRI merged with the bulk of the old Libertarian Alliance members of YAF to form the society of Individual Liberty, which has become by far the leading organization of libertarians in this country. SIL has thousands of members, and numerous campus chapters throughout the country, and is loosely affiliated with the California Libertarian Alliance, consisting largely of the ex-YAFers and which itself has over a thousand members within the state.
Meanwhile, as the SIL and the old Libertarian Alliance has flourished by moving from right to center within the spectrum, the New York-centered Radical Libertarian Alliance has fallen upon evil days. Murray Rothbard and Leonard Liggio had founded the journal Left and Right in early 1965 as a means of splitting finally from a conservative movement with which they had been allied but which had become a crusade against Communism and a celebrant of the American Consensus. In contrast, they saw in the New Left of those days many of the libertarian elements which they had, in earlier days, found on the Right: opposition to centralized bureaucracy and statism, hostility to the public school system, opposition to conscription, and a renaissance of the old “isolationist” hostility to war and American imperialism. Hence, they called upon the libertarians to find their allies on the New Left rather than on the Right. Leonard Liggio has been particularly energetic in working with the Left, having lectured on “American Imperialism” at the original Free University of New York, edited the magazine Leviathan, and having been associated with the American branch of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and its War Crimes Tribunal on Vietnam.
Under the inspiration of this search for the New Left, Becky Glaser led the transformation of the YAF chapter at the University of Kansas into an SDS chapter, and such youth leaders as Alan Milchman, then head of YAF at Brooklyn College, and Wilson Clark, Jr., head of the Conservative Club at the University of North Carolina, abandoned these organizations to plunge into radical left activity.
Rapid growth in the New York movement in 1968-69 led Rothbard and his associates to found the Libertarian Forum, as well as an ever-growing series of dinners, culminating in a conference attracting several hundred libertarians from the East Coast and Middle West, held in New York City on Columbus Day, 1969. Increasingly, however, a split grew within the Radical Libertarian Alliance, which had branches in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, and Boston. The factional differences centered on the problems of revolution, relations with the Left, and communalism vs. individualism. For as the RLA youth took the concept of alliance with the New Left to heart, they increasingly and to varying degrees became “leftists,” thus setting up an extreme-left tendency within the anarcho-capitalist movement. Leading this tendency was former Goldwater speech-writer Karl Hess, who had been one of the most spectacular converts to right-libertarianism during 1968. Going through a Randian phase—reflected in his famous Playboy article “Death of Politics” in mid-1969—Hess had passed through the center and on to lead the extreme left by mid-1969.
Responsive to the call for alliance with the New Left, the Left tendency began to oppose any criticisms of their newfound allies, leading to an uncritical adulation of the Black Panthers and other groups on the Left, including the anarcho-communists headed by Murray Bookchin. As in the history of many ideological movements, tactics began to merge into principle, so that many of the extreme left began to become anarcho-syndicalists or anarcho-communists, or, failing that, to see little or no difference between the various branches of anarchism. On revolution, in contrast to the Right, which opposes revolution on principle, and the Center, which holds revolution to be morally defensible as armed self-defense against State aggression but tactically and strategically absurd for present-day America, the RLA-Left began to favor any and all revolutionary tactics, including street-fighting, “trashing,” etc. This strategy has become increasingly unviable with the general collapse of the New Left and its drift back to Stalinism.
The final split between these various factions occurred after the Columbus Day, 1969 conference held by RLA in New York City, which degenerated into a screaming match between Left, Center, and Right factions, and featured a Left-exodus from the Conference to join a march on Fort Dix. Shortly afterward, the over-30 group severed all connections with RLA, and soon New York saw two, separate right-libertarian organizations, each wary if not hostile to each other: RLA; and the New York Libertarian Alliance, which was headed by Long Island lawyer Gary Greenberg, and which became affiliated with SIL. Since then, RLA has fragmented into various splintered affinity groupings, the only viable remnants being Ralph Fucetola’s New Jersey Libertarian Alliance, which publishes The Abolitionist, and a group led by Charles Hamilton, which publishes the newly-established quarterly Libertarian Analysis.
In many ways, California, with the largest right-libertarian population, differs from the movement in the rest of the country. The movement there is led by the California Libertarian Alliance, of over a thousand members. Led by youthful former YAFers, the CLA is rightist and neo-Randian in tendency, although over the last year and a half it too has moved leftward and abandoned many of its Randian tenets. CLA has held several highly successful conferences based on the idea of a Left-Right libertarian dialogue. The last conference, held on the campus of the University of Southern California last November and attracting over 700 attendees, featured Paul Goodman as well as more orthodox right-libertarian speakers. It also featured the libertarian psychoanalyst Dr. Thomas Szasz, who, influenced by such laissez-faire libertarians as Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, has also become a favorite of the New Left for his crusade against the coercion involved in the “mental health” program.
At the center of the flourishing movement in southern California is Robert LeFevre, head of the anarcho-pacifist tendency within the movement. LeFevre had founded and run for many years the Freedom School near Colorado Springs, a school which ran two-week summer seminars and was very successful in converting students and members of the public throughout the country. After transforming the school into Rampart College, LeFevre moved the operation to the Los Angeles area, where it has formed the nucleus for the libertarian movement there. LeFevre believes in absolute pacifism, holding it immoral not only to aggress against the person or property of anyone else, but also to defend that person or property by means of violence. Since he opposes all use of violence anywhere, he is far more consistent than socialist-pacifists in his opposition to force, and ranks as a kind of right-wing Tolstoyan. He himself rejects the label “anarchist” and prefers to call his pacifist libertarianism “autarchism.”
Another split within the libertarian movement centers on “youth culture”: drugs, rock, dress, etc. Almost exclusively, the split is generational, with the over-30’s (with the exception of Hess) lined up against the youth culture, and the under-30’s (with the exception of dyed-in-the wool Randians) strongly in favor. However, the California youth lead their generation in pushing youth culture as a supposedly mandatory part of the libertarian struggle; a similar but less important split centers on Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation, both of which are pushed strongly by the CLA youth. California is also the home of such bizarre variants as “retreatism”—the dream of small groups for eluding the State by buying (or even making!) their own island, or even moving into caves underground.
Necessarily little-known in the rest of the country, but probably with relatively the greatest influence within its own is the right-libertarian movement in Hawaii. Led by Bill Danks, a graduate student in American history at the University of Hawaii, the movement there managed to gain control of a major radio station, KTRG. For two years, KTRG beamed libertarian programs at their many thousands of listeners for many hours each night. However, the FCC, in a flagrant though unknown example of political repression, has cracked down and taken away the license of the station, and Danks as well as the heads of KTRG have been indicted for violation of the 1970 census! These are the only indictments so far for the high crime of refusing to answer questions on the census. Danks, affiliated with SIL, was head of SIL’s Census Resistance ‘70 in the state of Hawaii.
Another emerging activity in the movement is the National Taxpayers’ Union, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Headed by James Davidson, publisher of SIL’s The Individualist, and Wainwright Dawson, Jr., a former conservative who has merged his United Republicans of America into the NTU, the organization includes among its officers and advisors Murray Rothbard, A. Ernest Fitzgerald, and the distinguished socialist-anarchist Noam Chomsky.
As “left” and “right” categories dissolve and become increasingly meaningless on the American ideological scene, as young people, with the collapse of both the SDS-Left and the liberal “consensus,” grope toward a new philosophy and a new orientation, the emerging phenomenon of right-libertarianism may be destined for an important role in American life. If that happens, left-pacifists should not be very distressed, for this would mean an important thrust toward the dismantling of the war machine, the imperial expansion, and the domestic Leviathan of the giant American State.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alfred North Whitehead: An Ignored Sesquicentennial

Inexplicably, if not also shamefully, there is virtually no public notice of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great metaphysician, philosopher of science, and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead, who was born on this date in 1861 in Ramsgate, Kent, England.  Known more on this side of the Atlantic, he proposed a revision to Western theism that continues to inspire, challenge, and influence millions worldwide.  On my website I have posted a number of texts of Whitehead and Whiteheadians, and from it I have transferred to this blog the text of his "God and the World," which forms the second chapter of the fifth part of his signal work in cosmology, Process and Reality (1929; from the corrected edition prepared by David Ray Griffin and Donald Sherburne and published in 1978).  Across its seven sections, which together constitute one of the more accessible, even poetic, parts of that otherwise forbidding tome, Whitehead outlined a "new"/old concept of God.  After penning its last sentence, Whitehead left it to his readers to argue over whether the details of his system support it, and even over whether it is worth supporting. Classical theism, with its (in my opinion) intractable problem of evil, continues to attract and retain adherents, but not without interacting with its "process" critics, who are also better philosophers because of this dialectical development.  (I especially have in mind the thought of W. Norris Clarke, S.J.)  I wish I could do more to honor a man who so changed my thinking, but perhaps putting his thought in the path of others is the best anyone could do.  --  Anthony Flood

God and the World
 Alfred North Whitehead

One most obvious problem is how to save the intermediate imaginative representations of spiritual truths from loss of effectiveness, if the possibility of modifications of dogma are admitted. The religious spirit is not identical with dialectical acuteness. Thus these intermediate representations play a great part in religious life. They are enshrined in modes of worship, in popular religious literature, and in art. Religions cannot do without them; but if they are allowed to dominate, uncriticised by dogma or by recurrence to the primary sources of religious inspiration, they are properly to be termed idols. In Christian history, the charge of idolatry has been bandied to and fro among rival theologians. Probably, if taken in its wide sense, it rests with equal truth on all the main churches, Protestant, and Catholic. Idolatry is the necessary product of static dogmas.

Section I
So long as the temporal world is conceived as a self-sufficient completion of the creative act, explicable by its derivation from an ultimate principle which is at once eminently real and the unmoved mover, from this conclusion there is no escape: the best that we can say of the turmoil is, “For so he giveth his beloved—sleep.” This is the message of religions of the Buddhistic type, and in some sense it is true. In this final discussion we have to ask, whether metaphysical principles impose the belief that it is the whole truth. The complexity of the world must be reflected in the answer. It is childish to enter upon thought with the simpleminded question, What is the world made of? The task of reason is to fathom the deeper depths of the many-sidedness of things. We must not expect simple answers to far-reaching questions. However far our gaze penetrates, there are always heights beyond which block our vision.
The notion of God as the “unmoved mover” is derived from Aristotle, at least so far as Western thought is concerned. The notion of God as “eminently real” is a favourite doctrine of Christian theology. The combination of the two into the doctrine of an aboriginal, eminently real, transcendent creator, at whose fiat the world came into being, and whose imposed will it obeys, is the fallacy which has infused tragedy into the histories of Christianity and of Mahometanism.
When the Western world accepted Christianity, Caesar conquered; and the received text of Western theology was edited by his lawyers. The code of Justinian and the theology of Justinian are two volumes expressing one movement of the human spirit. The brief Galilean vision of humility flickered throughout the ages, uncertainly. In the official formulation of the religion it has assumed the trivial form of the mere attribution to the Jews that they cherished a misconception about their Messiah. But the deeper idolatry, of the fashioning of God in the image of the Egyptian, Persian, and Roman imperial rulers, was retained. The Church gave unto God the attributes which belonged exclusively to Caesar.
In the great formative period of theistic philosophy, which ended with the rise of Mahometanism, after a continuance coeval with civilization, three strains of thought emerge which, amid many variations in detail, respectively fashion God in the image of an imperial ruler, God in the image of a personification of moral energy, God in the image of an ultimate philosophical principle. Hume’s Dialogues criticize unanswerably these modes of explaining the system of the world.
The three schools of thought can be associated respectively with the divine Caesars, the Hebrew prophets, and Aristotle. But Aristotle was antedated by Indian, and Buddhistic, thought; the Hebrew prophets can be paralleled in traces of earlier thought; Mahometanism and the divine Caesars merely represent the most natural, obvious, idolatrous theistic symbolism, at all epochs and places.
The history of theistic philosophy exhibits various stages of combination of these three diverse ways of entertaining the problem. There is, however, in the Galilean origin of Christianity yet another suggestion which does not fit very well with any of the three main strands of thought. It does not emphasize the ruling Caesar, or the ruthless moralist, or the unmoved mover. It dwells upon the tender elements in the world, which slowly and in quietness operate by love; and it finds purpose in the present immediacy of a kingdom not of this world. Love neither rules, nor is it unmoved; also it is a little oblivious as to morals. It does not look to the future; for it finds its own reward in the immediate present.

 Section II
Apart from any reference to existing religions as they are, or as they ought to be, we must investigate dispassionately what the metaphysical principles, here developed, require on these points, as to the nature of God. There is nothing here in the nature of proof. There is merely the confrontation of the theoretic system with a certain rendering of the facts. But the unsystematized report upon the facts is itself highly controversial, and the system is confessedly inadequate. The deductions from it in this particular sphere of thought cannot be looked upon as more than suggestions as to how the problem is transformed in the light of that system. What follows is merely an attempt to add another speaker to that masterpiece, Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Any cogency of argument entirely depends upon elucidation of somewhat exceptional elements in our conscious experience—those elements which may roughly be classed together as religious and moral intuitions.
In the first place, God is not to be treated as an exception to all metaphysical principles, invoked to save their collapse. He is their chief exemplification.
Viewed as primordial, he is the unlimited conceptual realization of the absolute wealth of potentiality. In this aspect, he is not before all creation, but with all creation. But, as primordial, so far is he from “eminent reality,” that in this abstraction he is “deficiently actual”—and this in two ways. His feelings are only conceptual and so lack the fulness of actuality. Secondly, conceptual feelings, apart from complex integration with physical feelings, are devoid of consciousness in their subjective forms. Thus, when we make a distinction of reason, and consider God in the abstraction of a primordial actuality, we must ascribe to him neither fulness of feeling, nor consciousness. He is the unconditioned actuality of conceptual feeling at the base of things; so that, by reason of this primordial actuality, there is an order in the relevance of eternal objects to the process of creation. His unity of conceptual operations is a free creative act, untrammelled by reference to any particular course of things. It is deflected neither by love, nor by hatred, for what in fact comes to pass. The particularities of the actual world presuppose it; while it merely presupposes the general metaphysical character of creative advance, of which it is the primordial exemplification. The primordial nature of God is the acquirement by creativity of a primordial character.
His conceptual actuality at once exemplifies and establishes the categoreal conditions. The conceptual feelings, which compose his primordial nature, exemplify in their subjective forms their mutual sensitivity and their subjective unity of subjective aim. These subjective forms are valuations determining the relative relevance of eternal objects for each occasion of actuality.
He is the lure for feeling, the eternal urge of desire. His particular relevance to each creative act, as it arises from its own conditioned standpoint in the world, constitutes him the initial “object of desire” establishing the initial phase of each subjective aim. A quotation from Aristotle’s Metaphysics1 expresses some analogies to, and some differences from, this line of thought:
And since that which is moved and moves is intermediate, there is something which moves without being moved, being eternal, substance, and actuality. And the object of desire and the object of thought move in this way; they move without being moved. The primary objects of desire and of thought are the same. For the apparent good is the object of appetite, and the real good is the primary object of rational wish. But desire is consequent on opinion rather than opinion on desire; for the thinking is the startingpoint. And thought is moved by the object of thought, and one of the two columns of opposites is in itself the object of thought; . . .
Aristotle had not made the distinction between conceptual feelings and the intellectual feelings which alone involve consciousness. But if “conceptual feeling,” with its subjective form of valuation, be substituted for “thought,” “thinking,” and “opinion,” in the above quotation, the agreement is exact.

Section III
There is another side to the nature of God which cannot be omitted. Throughout this exposition of the philosophy of organism we have been considering the primary action of God on the world. From this point of view, he is the principle of concretion—the principle whereby there is initiated a definite outcome from a situation otherwise riddled with ambiguity. Thus, so far, the primordial side of the nature of God has alone been relevant.
But God, as well as being primordial, is also consequent. He is the beginning and the end. He is not the beginning in the sense of being in the past of all members. He is the presupposed actuality of conceptual operation, in unison of becoming with every other creative act. Thus, by reason of the relativity of all things, there is a reaction of the world on God. The completion of God’s nature into a fulness of physical feeling is derived from the objectification of the world in God. He shares with every new creation its actual world; and the concrescent creature is objectified in God as a novel element in God’s objectification of that actual world. This prehension into God of each creature is directed with the subjective aim, and clothed with the subjective form, wholly derivative from his all-inclusive primordial valuation. God’s conceptual nature is unchanged, by reason of its final completeness. But his derivative nature is consequent upon the creative advance of the world.
Thus, analogously to all actual entities, the nature of God is dipolar. He has a primordial nature and a consequent nature. The consequent nature of God is conscious; and it is the realization of the actual world in the unity of his nature, and through the transformation of his wisdom. The primordial nature is conceptual, the consequent nature is the weaving of God’s physical feelings upon his primordial concepts.
One side of God’s nature is constituted by his conceptual experience. This experience is the primordial fact in the world, limited by no actuality which it presupposes. It is therefore infinite, devoid of all negative prehensions. This side of his nature is free, complete, primordial, eternal, actually deficient, and unconscious. The other side originates with physical experience derived from the temporal world, and then acquires integration with the primordial side. It is determined, incomplete, consequent, “everlasting,” fully actual, and conscious. His necessary goodness expresses the determination of his consequent nature.
Conceptual experience can be infinite, but it belongs to the nature of physical experience that it is finite. An actual entity in the temporal world is to be conceived as originated by physical experience with its process of completion motivated by consequent, conceptual experience initially derived from God. God is to be conceived as originated by conceptual experience with his process of completion motivated by consequent, physical experience, initially derived from the temporal world.

Section IV
The perfection of God’s subjective aim, derived from the completeness of his primordial nature, issues into the character of his consequent nature. In it there is no loss, no obstruction. The world is felt in a unison of immediacy. The property of combining creative advance with the retention of mutual immediacy is what in the previous section is meant by the term “everlasting.”
The wisdom of subjective aim prehends every actuality for what it can be in such a perfected system—its sufferings, its sorrows, its failures, its triumphs, its immediacies of joy—woven by rightness of feeling into the harmony of the universal feeling, which is always immediate, always many, always one, always with novel advance, moving onward and never perishing. The revolts of destructive evil, purely self-regarding, are dismissed into their triviality of merely individual facts; and yet the good they did achieve in individual joy, in individual sorrow, in the introduction of needed contrast, is yet saved by its relation to the completed whole. The image—and it is but an image—the image under which this operative growth of God’s nature is best conceived, is that of a tender care that nothing be lost.
The consequent nature of God is his judgment on the world. He saves the world as it passes into the immediacy of his own life. It is the judgment of a tenderness which loses nothing that can be saved. It is also the judgment of a wisdom which uses what in the temporal world is mere wreckage.
Another image which is also required to understand his consequent nature is that of his infinite patience. The universe includes a threefold creative act composed of (i) the one infinite conceptual realization, (ii) the multiple solidarity of free physical realizations in the temporal world, (iii) the ultimate unity of the multiplicity of actual fact with the primordial conceptual fact. If we conceive the first term and the last term in their unity over against the intermediate multiple freedom of physical realizations in the temporal world, we conceive of the patience of God, tenderly saving the turmoil of the intermediate world by the completion of his own nature. The sheer force of things lies in the intermediate physical process: this is the energy of physical production. God’s role is not the combat of productive force with productive force, of destructive force with destructive force; it lies in the patient operation of the overpowering rationality of his conceptual harmonization. He does not create the world, he saves it: or, more accurately, he is the poet of the world, with tender patience leading it by his vision of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Section V
The vicious separation of the flux from the permanence leads to the concept of an entirely static God, with eminent reality, in relation to an entirely fluent world, with deficient reality. But if the opposites, static and fluent, have once been so explained as separately to characterize diverse actualities, the interplay between the thing which is static and the things which are fluent involves contradiction at every step in its explanation. Such philosophies must include the notion of “illusion” as a fundamental principle—the notion of “mere appearance.” This is the final Platonic problem.
Undoubtedly, the intuitions of Greek, Hebrew, and Christian thought have alike embodied the notions of a static God condescending to the world, and of a world either thoroughly fluent, or accidentally static, but finally fluent—”heaven and earth shall pass away.” In some schools of thought, the fluency of the world is mitigated by the assumption that selected components in the world are exempt from this final fluency, and achieve a static survival. Such components are not separated by any decisive line from analogous components for which the assumption is not made. Further, the survival is construed in terms of a final pair of opposites, happiness for some, torture for others.
Such systems have the common character of starting with a fundamental intuition which we do mean to express, and of entangling themselves in verbal expressions, which carry consequences at variance with the initial intuition of permanence in fluency and of fluency in permanence.
But civilized intuition has always, although obscurely, grasped the problem as double and not as single. There is not the mere problem of fluency and permanence. There is the double problem: actuality with permanence, requiring fluency as its completion; and actuality with fluency, requiring permanence as its completion. The first half of the problem concerns the completion of God’s primordial nature by the derivation of his consequent nature from the temporal world. The second half of the problem concerns the completion of each fluent actual occasion by its function of objective immortality, devoid of “perpetual perishing,” that is to say, “everlasting.”
This double problem cannot be separated into two distinct problems. Either side can only be explained in terms of the other. The consequent nature of God is the fluent world become “everlasting” by its objective immortality in God. Also the objective immortality of actual occasions requires the primordial permanence of God, whereby the creative advance ever reestablishes itself endowed with initial subjective aim derived from the relevance of God to the evolving world.
But objective immortality within the temporal world does not solve the problem set by the penetration of the finer religious intuition. “Everlastingness” has been lost; and “everlastingness” is the content of that vision upon which the finer religions are built—the “many” absorbed everlastingly in the final unity. The problems of the fluency of God and of the everlastingness of passing experience are solved by the same factor in the universe. This factor is the temporal world perfected by its reception and its reformation, as a fulfilment of the primordial appetition which is the basis of all order. In this way God is completed by the individual, fluent satisfactions of finite fact, and the temporal occasions are completed by their everlasting union with their transformed selves, purged into conformation with the eternal order which is the final absolute “wisdom.” The final summary can only be expressed in terms of a group of antitheses, whose apparent self-contradictions depend on neglect of the diverse categories of existence. In each antithesis there is a shift of meaning which converts the opposition into a contrast.
It is as true to say that God is permanent and the World fluent, as that the World is permanent and God is fluent.
It is as true to say that God is one and the World many, as that the World is one and God many.
It is as true to say that, in comparison with the World, God is actual eminently, as that, in comparison with God, the World is actual eminently.
It is as true to say that the World is immanent in God, as that God is immanent in the World.
It is as true to say that God transcends the World, as that the World transcends God.
It is as true to say that God creates the World, as that the World creates God.
God and the World are the contrasted opposites in terms of which Creativity achieves its supreme task of transforming disjoined multiplicity, with its diversities in opposition, into concrescent unity, with its diversities in contrast. In each actuality there are two concrescent poles of realization—”enjoyment” and “appetition,” that is, the “physical” and the “conceptual.” For God the conceptual is prior to the physical, for the World the physical poles are prior to the conceptual poles.
A physical pole is in its own nature exclusive, bounded by contradiction: a conceptual pole is in its own nature all-embracing, unbounded by contradiction. The former derives its share of infinity from the infinity of appetition; the latter derives its share of limitation from the exclusiveness of enjoyment. Thus, by reason of his priority of appetition, there can be but one primordial nature for God; and, by reason of their priority of enjoyment, there must be one history of many actualities in the physical world.
God and the World stand over against each other, expressing the final metaphysical truth that appetitive vision and physical enjoyment have equal claim to priority in creation. But no two actualities can be torn apart: each is all in all. Thus each temporal occasion embodies God, and is embodied in God. In God’s nature, permanence is primordial and flux is derivative from the World: in the World’s nature, flux is primordial and permanence is derivative from God. Also the World’s nature is a primordial datum for God; and God’s nature is a primordial datum for the World. Creation achieves the reconciliation of permanence and flux when it has reached its final term which is everlastingness—the Apotheosis of the World.
Opposed elements stand to each other in mutual requirement. In their unity, they inhibit or contrast. God and the World stand to each other in this opposed requirement. God is the infinite ground of all mentality, the unity of vision seeking physical multiplicity. The World is the multiplicity of finites, actualities seeking a perfected unity. Neither God, nor the World, reaches static completion. Both are in the grip of the ultimate metaphysical ground, the creative advance into novelty. Either of them, God and the World, is the instrument of novelty for the other.
In every respect God and the World move conversely to each other in respect to their process. God is primordially one, namely, he is the primordial unity of relevance of the many potential forms; in the process he acquires a consequent multiplicity, which the primordial character absorbs into its own unity. The World is primordially many, namely, the many actual occasions with their physical finitude; in the process it acquires a consequent unity, which is a novel occasion and is absorbed into the multiplicity of the primordial character. Thus God is to be conceived as one and as many in the converse sense in which the World is to be conceived as many and as one. The theme of Cosmology, which is the basis of all religions, is the story of the dynamic effort of the World passing into everlasting unity, and of the static majesty of God’s vision, accomplishing its purpose of completion by absorption of the World’s multiplicity of effort.

Section VI
The consequent nature of God is the fulfilment of his experience by his reception of the multiple freedom of actuality into the harmony of his own actualization. It is God as really actual, completing the deficiency of his mere conceptual actuality.
Every categoreal type of existence in the world presupposes the other types in terms of which it is explained. Thus the many eternal objects conceived in their bare isolated multiplicity lack any existent character. They require the transition to the conception of them as efficaciously existent by reason of God’s conceptual realization of them.
But God’s conceptual realization is nonsense if thought of under the guise of a barren, eternal hypothesis. It is God’s conceptual realization performing an efficacious rĂ´le in multiple unifications of the universe, which are free creations of actualities arising out of decided situations. Again this discordant multiplicity of actual things, requiring each other and neglecting each other, utilizing and discarding, perishing and yet claiming life as obstinate matter of fact, requires an enlargement of the understanding to the comprehension of another phase in the nature of things. In this later phase, the many actualities are one actuality, and the one actuality is many actualities. Each actuality has its present life and its immediate passage into novelty; but its passage is not its death. This final phase of passage in God’s nature is ever enlarging itself. In it the complete adjustment of the immediacy of joy and suffering reaches the final end of creation. This end is existence in the perfect unity of adjustment as means, and in the perfect multiplicity of the attainment of individual types of self-existence. The function of being a means is not disjoined from the function of being an end. The sense of worth beyond itself is immediately enjoyed as an overpowering element in the individual self-attainment. It is in this way that the immediacy of sorrow and pain is transformed into an element of triumph. This is the notion of redemption through suffering which haunts the world. It is the generalization of its very minor exemplification as the aesthetic value of discords in art.
Thus the universe is to be conceived as attaining the active self-expression of its own variety of opposites—of its own freedom and its own necessity, of its own multiplicity and its own unity, of its own imperfection and its own perfection. All the “opposites” are elements in the nature of things, and are incorrigibly there. The concept of “God” is the way in which we understand this incredible fact—that what cannot be, yet is.

Section VII
Thus the consequent nature of God is composed of a multiplicity of elements with individual self-realization. It is just as much a multiplicity as it is a unity; it is just as much one immediate fact as it is an unresting advance beyond itself. Thus the actuality of God must also be understood as a multiplicity of actual components in process of creation. This is God in his function of the kingdom of heaven.
Each actuality in the temporal world has its reception into God’s nature. The corresponding element in God’s nature is not temporal actuality, but is the transmutation of that temporal actuality into a living, ever-present fact. An enduring personality in the temporal world is a route of occasions in which the successors with some peculiar completeness sum up their predecessors. The correlate fact in God’s nature is an even more complete unity of life in a chain of elements for which succession does not mean loss of immediate unison. This element in God’s nature inherits from the temporal counterpart according to the same principle as in the temporal world the future inherits from the past. Thus in the sense in which the present occasion is the person now, and yet with his own past, so the counterpart in God is that person in God.
But the principle of universal relativity is not to be stopped at the consequent nature of God. This nature itself passes into the temporal world according to its gradation of relevance to the various concrescent occasions. There are thus four creative phases in which the universe accomplishes its actuality. There is first the phase of conceptual origination, deficient in actuality, but infinite in its adjustment of valuation. Secondly, there is the temporal phase of physical origination, with its multiplicity of actualities. In this phase full actuality is attained; but there is deficiency in the solidarity of individuals with each other. This phase derives its determinate conditions from the first phase. Thirdly, there is the phase of perfected actuality, in which the many are one everlastingly, without the qualification of any loss either of individual identity or of completeness of unity. In everlastingness, immediacy is reconciled with objective immortality. This phase derives the conditions of its being from the two antecedent phases. In the fourth phase, the creative action completes itself. For the perfected actuality passes back into the temporal world, and qualifies this world so that each temporal actuality includes it as an immediate fact of relevant experience. For the kingdom of heaven is with us today. The action of the fourth phase is the love of God for the world. It is the particular providence for particular occasions. What is done in the world is transformed into a reality in heaven, and the reality in heaven passes back into the world. By reason of this reciprocal relation, the love in the world passes into the love in heaven, and floods back again into the world. In this sense, God is the great companion—the fellow-sufferer who understands.
We find here the final application of the doctrine of objective immortality. Throughout the perishing occasions in the life of each temporal Creature, the inward source of distaste or of refreshment, the judge arising out of the very nature of things, redeemer or goddess of mischief, is the transformation of Itself, everlasting in the Being of God. In this way, the insistent craving is justified—the insistent craving that zest for existence be refreshed by the ever-present, unfading importance of our immediate actions, which perish and yet live for evermore.
1 Metaphysics 1072a 2332, trans. by Professor W. D. Ross. My attention was called to the appositeness of this particular quotation by Mr. F. J. Carson. [Note by ANW.—A.F.]