Notes for “Transcendental Arbitration” #3

That ownership is intimately bound up with the concept of sovereignty is undeniable. One could even argue that sovereignty and ownership are the same things. For example, the king is the sovereign of the kingdom because he owns the kingdom. Of course, these notions have their own semantic differences, but that within transcendental analysis being conducted those differences disappearance is certain. Sovereignty, control, purchase (in the sense of “X has purchase upon Y,” not the commercial sense of “X bought Y”), and the levels associated with each have respective implications in regards to ownership. Once extricated from Lockean humanism, property rights are accrued not through some temporal and spatial relation, but a transcendent relation. That we could easily be the property of the land we walk upon only appears to be ridiculous because we have transcended nature as human beings, just as those animals which walk upon the Earth too have transcended nature. That we are not subordinated, which is to effectively say bound to the fertile soil of the Earth is evident by the facts of space travel in all of its unbridled intricacy. But, if nature was a volitional actor, and if it desired to subordinate us with all its might, it is sure it could do such a thing. In this sense, homesteading needs to be extricated from temporality, and reserved only for the spatial alone. From this, we can deduce, ownership is gained not just through mixing one’s labor with nature but also with spatial sovereignty. That some have less power than me is obvious, and the inverse is just as obvious. But that another owns an object through control is also seemingly just as obvious. Then again, I am just thinking to myself…

Let’s move away from ownership and exclusively toward the ideas of purchase and sovereignty. If something has a purchase on something then it has general applicability in some sense to something. That which has more purchase on sovereignty is transcendent in relation to that which has less purchase on sovereignty. I think that when it comes to the political implications of what we are speaking of Nick Land puts it best: “The problem is this: Can real — which is to say ultimate (or sovereign) — political authority be constrained? Moldbug’s answer is ‘no’. A constraint authority is a superseded authority, or delegated power. To limit government is to exceed, and thus supplant it.” But Land also makes a point which is interesting: “That the sovereign rules does not explain the rules of sovereignty, and there must be such rules, because the alternative is pure force, and that is a romantic myth of transparent absurdity.” That the concepts of transcendence (and the interplay between entities and the transcendence of one another is competition) and sovereignty are themselves pure transcendental arbiters, in that one cannot transcend transcendence or outcompete competition, is clear. Can one also not say that no one can exit exit? They can! But, ultimately, there is an alternative to exit which is voice. Transcendental arbiters are without alternatives. Sovereignty though is transcendental in that, to quote Nick Land, “anything that appears to bind sovereignty is itself in reality true sovereignty.” That transcendental arbiters are more sovereign than it is possible to be (as the logical categories of possibility-impossibility does not transcend and then limit transcendental arbiters). Sovereign arbitration is transcendental arbitration immediately upon a transcendental arbiter coming into being. There is no alternative to transcendence and transcended in that those immanent and nontranscended things are exactly the transcendental arbiters we are talking about. Transcendence therefore solves the problem of alternatives which is derived from the Nietzschean question “Why not rather…” Sovereignty, does it have an alternative? Because each position has within it some conserved sovereignty, one cannot deny sovereignty from any position.

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Evan Jack

Evan Jack

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish. - Georges Bataille