time will tell

The common-sense “dialectics” of freedom and necessity conceives of their articulation in the sense of the famous lines from the beginning of Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte:

“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.”

We are partially, but not totally, determined: we have a space of freedom, but within the coordinates imposed by our objective situation. What this view fails to take into account is the way our freedom (free activity) retroactively creates (“posits”) its objective conditions: these conditions are not simply given, they emerge as the presuppositions of our activity. (And vice versa: the space of our freedom itself is sustained by the situation in which we find ourselves.)

The excess is thus double: we are not only less free than we think (the contours of our freedom are predetermined), we are simultaneously more free than we think (we freely “posit” the very necessity that determines us). This is why, to arrive at our “absolute” freedom (the free positing of our presuppositions), we have to pass through absolute determinism.

(Ž, from Less Than Nothing, “Necessity As Self-Sublated Contingency”)

***

“He who controls the past commands the future, He who commands the future, conquers the past.” – Kane

(Command & Conquer wiki: http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Kane)

***

RA1: “Sooner or later, time will tell”

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