629 Conclusion

The nineteenth centuryʼs objective idealism recognized the systematic need to trace the conditions of negative experience back to the “ground” (for Schelling, freedom). However, it is not difficult to see that by splitting the sovereign principle into originary ground and non-ground (Urgrund and Ungrund), one only applies to evil the same subsumptive exaltation to which we owe all hegemonic fantasms. Evil in turn gets maximized and introduced into the ultimate referent. Thus, in Schelling, the absolute will universalizes ends and reasons, just as it then singularizes itself through original sin. Obviously one hardly escapes theticism by coupling absolute evil with the good. To make that escape it is necessary to remain faithful to the irreducible phenomena, the traits of natality and mortality. But then the ultimate condition will no longer be absolutely archic.

Whether explicitly or tacitly and whatever its variant, a doctrine of principles cannot do without a concept of anarchy. In such a doctrine, this concept only sums up the axiom that forbids indefinite regression toward more and more primitive conditions. In theticism, the first arché is anarchic, since if, in its turn, it had an arché, it would no longer be first.

The anarchy that appears not to have to truncate the phenomenologically originary conditions is something quite different, for singularization works on every normative position from within. The call to remain faithful to singularization clashes with the call for principles legislating simply; the dissonance is ultimate that deprives us and has always deprived us of a simple appellate authority. The origin thus proves to be anarchic because in dissension with itself.

The eras of philosophy, shaped by the languages in which it has been spoken, can best be described through fantasmic theticism. A posited fantasm, as has been shown, always regulates a given epochal arrangement. As has also been shown, the way a given arrangement is linked to the regulative positing mutates ceaselessly.13 Under the hegemony of the Greek hen, unification through narratable stages that a voyager traverses (Parmenides) differs from unification by conformation (Plotinus). Under the hegemony of Latin natura, the telic continuum of soul-body-city-humanity-cosmos (Cicero as spokesman for the Roman Stoics) differs from integration by graduated universalization (Meister Eckhart). Under the hegemony of modern self-consciousness, lastly, the subsumption exercised by the received self (Luther) or spontaneous self (Kant) differs from the economy of the self as singularized (Heidegger).

Just as varying in each case is the destabilizing undertow by which singularization undermines these normative referents. In a topological inquiry, it pulls these maxims back to their respective places of extraction, the fantasm of hen to the remembrance of things absent (perhaps the ostracized), that of natura to a particular city that was or another that will be, that of self-consciousness, lastly, toward the self actually either bestowed or fashioned. A maximization thus cannot but remain faithful to its singular provenance, although it does so with an oblique fidelity, one covered up with a pomp and circumstance that passes for obvious so as to make one forget the humble condition from which a hegemony has been elevated.

Therefore, the topologist does more than describe shifting territories and the breaks between them. Were he to rest content with descriptions, he would be precluded from

Reiner Schürmann - Broken Hegemonies