A political introduction to Dasein | The first part
Translator: Sima Binayi
Thinking is a struggle that begins with awareness, and this awareness is hidden in a group of people who filter their thoughts according to their situation, by connecting with each other. What is the role of the thinker in this situation? It is to stabilize the activity of consciousness and focus on what is hidden in the group’s desires, and ultimately, to form a mass. I believe that the mass is not just a social phenomenon, but a linguistic one, that is, an ontological manifestation of language, which defines its essence in its present time.
My main argument is this: the mass is a result of reality that emerges in society. The mass has a pre-understanding that interprets its identity based on its historical context, and then, through linguistic analysis of what it has, it reveals what exists and presents itself in the current context. What do I mean by this historical position? I do not agree with the “legitimate prejudices” of the French, and unlike Gadamer, I do not marginalize tradition in the practice of history. My point is essentially this: tradition is the language of history and history is a dynamic process that constantly unfolds.
Human understanding is based on historical thinking and cannot be separated from it; but it can also adapt its interpretation of its present history to its needs, according to the same history. This means that history should be interpreted carefully – because it wants to shape your behavior in a certain way – and this careful interpretation depends on the power of history, which needs to be accurately understood, because in consciousness, a linguistic structure needs some words to express itself. This is a combination of subject and object, an original subject from history that has created an original object, and now that object has become an original objectivity, to influence the original subject in the present objective action that treats the present subject based on an original.
I call this interaction between the past and the present to establish consciousness “praxis”, the point of contact between the subject and the object for expression. Here, everything that is understood is linguistic, and everything that is linguistic is historical, so everything that is expressed is linguistic-historical. Here, language is the most basic way of expressing things that rides on its meaning, history, and advances in the core of human existence. Therefore, understanding history is a proportional relationship between event and tradition, in which the past and present are constantly becoming until they reach the act of praxis, in which history is fixed by language.
In this stable state between the past and present, a specific thought is fixed on the current moment and the existence of the mass is practically neutralized, until the existential gap between the event and tradition is felt again, due to necessity, until the return of what is between the event and tradition. The linguistic fixation of history will happen and the “purpose of existence” of mass will be determined.
Similar to the current situation in Iran, there are thousands of attempts and efforts to express existence and try to find the best way, which, in my view, will automatically find its desired dominant discourse in fixing ideas in the filter of history. It is a translational act of adapting the text of history to the text of praxis. Here, the mass, by participating in the event of understanding what is best for themselves, by giving meaning to what is in its most basic state, explains what should be done and basically starts to translate their demand, because understanding means translating a meaning or being able to translate it. In general, it can be said; politics is a linguistic act that I call “Dasein” and I will explain more later.
“Being in Dasein”
First of all, I have to say that, unlike Schmitt, I do not believe in something like a “state of exception”. There cannot be an exception in the governance of a state. What has happened has always had the potential and capacity to happen. Everything that exists in the structure of a state always has the certainty of its existence and even in influencing its future, it follows the same original certainty that it had. This logic is in the structure of the state, the reality of its “totality”. Now what is the logic of this totality? A state originates from the system of a nation, that is, the essence of “being a state” in a territory always operates in the same way.
By this position, I mean that there is no difference between the essence of a state such as Pahlavi or the Islamic Republic, and both of them originate from the existing structure of a single nation. Although many people may not like this, we should not fool ourselves. The structure that created the Islamic Republic is the same place where Pahlavi grew and found its expression. The originality of the existence of both of these states based on the history of this land – the discussion we had above – is the same, because both of them emerged from this place, but depending on the historical conditions, they have the capacity to use their potential accordingly, and if a state fails, it is not a proof that the possibility of being good is not in this country, but in fact, this was the period of governance, to establish the meaning of “being good”, or in other words, the appropriate translation of the event and tradition to reach praxis, or semantic stabilization of mass in this land.
States are the periods of establishing the meaning of “the same land” to influence the proportional amount of their existence. I call this territorial essence “Dasein” (the same as the linguistic act of politics). From my perspective, Dasein determines its own existence. Essentially, Dasein understands itself based on what it was and based on that, what it wants to show. There is nothing unintelligible in Dasein, whatever happens in the circle of existence of Dasein is all legitimate, because there is nothing beyond it, and if there is something beyond it, it will manifest itself based on the interpretation of being in Dasein of that concept.
Dasein is an appropriate understanding of the logic of time, which determines its existence with its totality, that is, it is a general Dasein that interprets itself in its legitimate temporal components, and according to its rationality of existence, determines the perception, or influences the ability to be understood. This is why I am talking about its legitimacy, because the condition of the legitimacy of something is its temporality, and whatever Dasein is, it is a temporal structure in influencing the concept. Whether we like it or not, we live in Dasein and there is no need to escape from it, basically, what rules Dasein’s escape is to establish what Dasein is, based on Dasein to fit Dasein with itself. In other words, everything becomes meaningful in this “being in Dasein”.
This is the principle that I use to say that there is no exception, and whatever exists, originates from the totality of the existence of the structure. Interpreting the world here for us, in receiving the pure act of Dasein, is a basic and certain matter, whether we want it or not, we are always present to interpret the world from our position. In other words, we have no choice but to define Dasein for ourselves, because Dasein is the totality of our existence.
Now you might ask yourself, what can Dasein help in interpreting the meaning of state legitimacy, if that state is of its own existence? Does it fundamentally transcend its structure? Basically, it should be said that Dasein has a fixed essence, but it needs temporal words to reflect that essence. It is in the essence of Dasein, which expresses its existence through a temporal vocabulary, of which state is the sum of its totality.
But well, based on this “shortness” of the state, and since Dasein is always “becoming”, the state is fixed in its own shortness and remains apart from the meaning of Dasein becoming, and is more of a static loss in the existence of Dasein.
In other words, Dasein, which is constantly making sense of itself through its present, keeps the state in a centralized state so that the semantic basis of the essence can find a discourse for critique. In other words, Dasein in order to “become” needs its own criticism, which advances itself by stabilizing the meaning of the state within the structure.
It happens that discourses that conflict with the state originate from the same structure, but they are a single and original conflict. In other words, everything that exists has its own contradiction in itself, and it is Dasein that, by cultivating its self-generated contradiction, makes the existence of meaning continuous. Thus, there is nothing exceptional and everything is the Dasein of pure existence, which contains its totality continuously.
Here we presented a brief explanation of the concept of Dasein, which I think is the perfection of the concept of Dasein. Now we return to the main topic: the ruler is not the one who decides about the exceptional situation, and everything is fixed as it should be in the fixed essence of Dasein. within a land, and what exists, what should be according to the logical conditions of Dasein. Therefore, according to this account, the political issue in a land, that is, a conflict between right and right, which are opposed to each other, but nevertheless, from the essence of existence, they have the same logic.
Therefore, there is no void, except “rightness” which is established in the idea of Dasein and by virtue of its focus, it makes room for “more right” discourse. Since this opposition; It originates from the same root, what is state, itself is the concentrated language of Dasein, which, by establishing itself in the semantic structure, gives its opposing discourses a specific vocabulary in the direction of protest. In other words, by consolidating its power, the state concentrates its circle of influence in its own power and is the only central element of the place of Dasein, while all other discourses, using the established existence of the state, can express their opposition in the continuity of Dasein in the semantic structure. And express what they need from what the state gives them.
In short, Dasein has a fixed dimension in terms of meaning to stabilize the position of the everyday, and from that, a progressive dimension to influence the everyday, which in the position of intercourse (which we explained in the first part), moves itself beyond its own self-contradiction, because In order to influence itself, language always keeps a part of itself ready for criticism and suppression, so that the action takes place continuously and the life is understood.
Whatever it is, it is a linguistic action that uses itself to influence itself, leaves a part of itself to suppress it thanks to the same, another part of itself, and thus the meaning is continuously established in becoming. Dasein is language and language is the totality of existence.
Now it is necessary to see what is the meaning of “political matter” and where “friend” and “enemy” are located. “quaestio facti”; It is a term for all rights that Kant first introduced into the official discourse of philosophy. In criticizing pure reason, this philosopher distinguishes between the question of right (quaestio juris) and the question of reality (quaestio facti). In other words, the common use of concepts without their critical evaluation is related to the “issue of reality”, but the evaluation of the value and legitimacy of these concepts belongs to the area of “the issue of right”. I believe that the question of reality determines the everyday critique of the position of right based on Dasein.
In other words, as I have acknowledged, Dasein is the established linguistic order of a land, and accepting this is the same as accepting the concept that the action of right is continuously becoming and determines its example from the reception of its finality in the action of the day. The fixed right in front of the right flow of discourses, is the same relationship between the state and their opponents, although the right to assume the state here is only to show the same root of their existence, and when we look deeper, we find out that the right continuously redefines itself from its reality, and this is how an authoritarian state will fall.
In my view, Kant’s transcendental rule is rejected in this position, because these two concepts are not separate from each other and originate from the same essence that constantly contains criticism, in other words, criticism is not the power of detachment from reality, and according to the example of Dasein, everything together is reality and continuously determines its existence. The act of critique, in essence, is the most determined fact that is constantly present in the effort to stabilize the discourse of Dasein, in contrast to its fixed part. Criticism is always there, because it is real and continuously advances its being in Dasein.
I raised this issue in order to get to this concept: the political, the established reality of Dasein, is the reality in contrast to other ongoing discourses. So far, we have found that the state and the nation originate from the same essence, which is called Dasein, but these groups are constantly in a discursive conflict between the right and the more right. The first group, since it is placed in a fixed sense under the rule of the certainty of power, concentrates its existence to establish the meaning of its power, willingly or not, in a series of specific meanings, the essence of power is basically like this, because to consolidate its existence over other discourses it needs a secure base of meaning to rely on.
But here I need to state that state is what human society is and this should be reminded to many (especially Mr. Albert Hanel). This sameness of the state and other discourses present in the society originates precisely from the fact that its power originates from the same social essence as other discourses, and it is precisely because of the sameness of the meaning of its temporal power that it must stabilize it among other social bases. In other words, the state, in opposition to other discourses, stabilizes the same but concentrated part of the concept of power, which is temporal and originates from Dasein, because at the beginning of its formation, the intersected word of the power of the state is more universal and other discourses must force it to accept. But as soon as the concept of power is established in the state, it becomes concentrated and fixed, and this allows other discourses to measure their meaning of power with the meaning of state power.
The power of state and the power of other discourses are both actual and potential, because they originate from Dasein, which is potentially always present in the same identity of their existence in that specific territory, and actual, because Dasein exists to be continuously present. Now, how does this conflict between discourses and the state regarding power arise and lead to the fall of the state? So far we have noticed that both of these groups have “power”; One is fixed and the other is moving. Both of these groups are constantly defining their power based on what they have; But since the power of the state is fixed in a single and specific meaning structure, it has a narrower view of the daily life of the society than other discourses, and the rhetoric of its power, sees only what is in front of it. It happens that it is content with its secure semantic base and continuously measures everything based on the same (states are always stuck in yesterday and nations are moving towards tomorrow).
The semantic structure of the state in this position, feeling threatened by its opponents, tries to absorb them; In the event that the meaning of state is not able to absorb them, because the meaning of power is other current discourses and has been able to define itself day by day based on everyday action, and from its Dasein. In other words, since it exists more widely, it has more vocabulary for the meaning of what its power is, and this is almost the same Dasein that has given it that has fixed the power of the state to influence its opponents. Dasein must be progressive, so structures must be sacrificed here; And the state stands at the top of it.
Now that the state cannot absorb other structures and unite them with itself, it starts suppressing them. Practically, suppression is the sign of the end of the state, when the state, whether it wants to or not, realizes that its self-destructive organism can no longer be satisfied with what it has, it tries to show itself alive by the act of suppression, in the event that, according to the judgment of the same self-destructive organism, showing its aliveness will only create a satirical tragedy. This consciousness touches the state in a stroke and is only the act of Dasein to establish the end of the state.
With this awareness of its stroke, the state becomes aware of its situation and tries to reestablish its safe position by suppressing the discourses of power, because it has become very dependent on the principle of the fixation of its power. The power of the state here can suppress some discourses that are far from the contemporary power concept of Dasein consciousness, or in other words someone who weaker; But suppressing them again makes the superior discourses, which are based on the power of words (one of the reasons to be mentioned), find more opportunities to express themselves and finally absorb the fixed area of the state’s power.
In this act of absorbing, Dasein analyzes the existing words of the power of the previous state with a contradiction that has more unity with them, and the new state is born from the fixation of the meaning of the contradiction that has opposite words; But more unity with the previous state.
In other words, in translating their opposition (the previous and new state), we find that the essence of this contradiction has some common areas with previous state, and it is precisely because of this similarity that words contradiction are unified and essence power is established once again. This word may be harsh, but it must be said that power comes from discourses against state; It achieves new fixed power new state, it has same vocabulary as previous state.
In other words, in translating their opposition (the previous and new state), we find that the essence of this contradiction has some common areas with the previous state, and it is precisely because of this similarity that the words of the contradiction are unified and the essence of power is established once again. This word may be harsh, but it must be said that the power that comes from discourses against the state; It achieves the new fixed power of the new state, it has the same vocabulary as the previous state; Also, based on the self-generated contradiction of the previous state, which in the Dasein translation structure, after the meaning of its single contradiction with the new state, leads to a new fixation of power.