"The Whole is False" (was Re: St. Judy was Re: clarification)

Lou Paulsen wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Tue Dec 12 17:24:09 MST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2000 5:54 PM
Subject: "The Whole is False" (was Re: St. Judy was Re: clarification)

>Lou Paulsen wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com>
>>>As the man said, the whole is
>>>the false.
>>The sixth patriarch told his disciples, "Ryutan said, 'The whole is the
>>false.'  I say, 'the whole is the true.'"
>>[COMMENTARY on the koan is deleted]

I think Yoshie thought I was just playing around and being absurd, so she

>To say that "the whole is false" is to criticize _organicism_ that
>treats individuals as merely disposable "members" of the "body
>politic."  If the whole is true, what is wrong with counseling
>euthanasia when disabled "members" impose "burdens" on the "whole" of
>society under socialism?  [etc.]

Very well then: To say that "the whole is true" is to criticize _atomism_
that treats individuals as merely disconnected units in ceaseless
competition and disunity.  If the whole is false, what is wrong with
counseling individuals to seek only their own good?  Do the "working class",
and indeed every oppressed group, not become mere illusions?  Mustn't we say
that Weber did not go far enough when he counterposed "class, status, and
caste" to Marx's "class", and that in reality there are as many dimensions
of difference as there are human beings?  Don't slogans like "same struggle,
same fight" become cynical mantras to deceive the weak-minded?  Why are
those who make sacrifices, even give their lives for the struggle, not mere
fools, if the whole is false?

So, is the whole false [Hint: THESIS] or is the whole true [Hint:

Lou, aka the 14th patriarch

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