The Abs-Tract Organization: Metamodern Think Tank

ABSTRACT QUOTES

NIETZSCHE

EINSTEIN

COMTE

"The more abstract the truth you wish to teach, the more must you allure the senses to it." - Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
     
"The ​abstract concept “society” means to the individual human being the sum total of [one's] direct and indirect relations to [one's] contemporaries and to all the people of earlier generations." - Einstein,
Why Socialism?
"Each department of knowledge passes through three stages. The theoretic stage; the theological stage and the metaphysical or abstract stage." - Auguste Comte
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DIDEROT

BALZAC

DEWEY

"All abstract sciences are nothing but the study of relations between signs." - Denis Diderot
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"To those who have exhausted politics, nothing remains but abstract thought." - Honore de Balzac
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By object is meant some element in the complex whole that is defined in abstraction from the whole of which it is a distinction." -  John Dewey
"it would be a great shame to lose or to put aside entirely the somewhat more abstract and philosophical, if you like, task of trying to draw the connections between a concept of human nature that gives full scope to freedom and dignity and creativity, and other fundamental human characteristics, and relates that to some notion of social structure in which those properties could be realized, in which meaningful human life could take place…" - Noam Chomsky - Noam vs. Michel Foucault (Eng. subs)
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"Focusing on the often populistic rhetoric of the more visible political actors, and neglecting the realm of private (economic) power, analyses of these conflicts had to attribute their causes to increasingly abstract and unreal assumptions about ethnic hatred or simply atavistic "evil"-leaving the question of economic reconstruction to experts on post-conflict governance."
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[b] THE STUDY OF SOCIETAL FORMS ("PURE, OR FORMAL, SOCIOLOGY")

Scientific abstraction cuts through the full concreteness of social phenomena from yet a different angle. It thereby connects all that is "sociological" "sociological" in a sense that will be discussed presently and that appears to me to be the most decisive sense of the term. In doing this, scientific abstraction produces a
consistent manner of cognition. Yet it fully realizes that in actuality, sociological phenomena do not exist in such isolation and recomposition, but that they are factored out of this living reality by means of an added concept. It will be remembered that societal facts are not only societal. It is always an objective content (sense-perceived or intellectual, technical or physiological) which is socially embodied, produced, or transmitted, and which only thus produces the totality of social life. Yet this societal formation of contents itself can be investigated by a science. Geometrical abstraction investigates only the spatial forms of bodies, although empirically, these forms are given merely as the forms of some material content. Similarly, if society is conceived as interaction among individuals, the description of the forms of this interaction is the task of the science of society in its strictest and most essential sense.

Here we find a parallel in the phenomenon of the concept. A concept isolates that which is common to singular and heterogeneous items. It stands the more highly above each of them, the more of them it comprises. It is, therefore, the most general concepts, that is, those which comprehend the largest number of items such as the abstractions of metaphysics that gain, as it were, a separate existence, the norms and developments of which are often alien or even hostile to those of more tangible, single items. In a similar manner, the large group gains its unity, which finds expression in the group organs and in political notions and in ideals, only at the price of a great distance between all of these structures and the individual. In the social life of a small group, by contrast, the individual's views and needs are directly effective, are objects of immediate consideration. This situation accounts for the frequent difficulties characteristic of organizations which are composed of a number of smaller units. Matters at issue here can be appraised correctly and treated with interest and care only at close range; but, on the other hand, a just and regular arrangement of all details can be secured only from the distance which is reserved for the central organ alone. Such a discrepancy is revealed again and again by charitable organizations, labor unions, school administrations, etc. In all these instances, it is hard to reconcile personal relations, which are the very life principle of small groups, with the distance and coolness of objective and abstract norms without which the large group cannot exist. 
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"Clinton supporters function either completely in denial of these facts, or resign themselves to a conveniently willing ignorance of her misdeeds. Instead, they focus on ethical abstractions revolving around their dislike of Donald Trump."

"While I am no fan of Trump, it is plainly apparent to me that the specific crimes perpetrated by Hillary Clinton that we have been given direct knowledge of by Wikileaks and by James Comey’s testimony before Congress, during which he bafflingly implicated her without recommending indictment, are of a more concrete and realistic nature than the abstractions leveled against Trump based on sound bytes taken from his admittedly ridiculous rhetoric." 
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"Luxuriating in their corporate excess, they dished out smug ­political clichés. That Hillary Clinton titled her platitudinous book It Takes a Village is more revealing than the focus group that doubtless devised it can ever have imagined. What could be more inauthentic than the idea of Clinton as a village lover? Which village, exactly? The village of Wall Street? The village of Washington lobbyists on K Street? There are no real people in Clinton’s village. It’s a nodal cluster of liberal abstract nouns."
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"For the same reason that a metaphor is apt to be more revealing than a literal statement… In the history of language, in the growth of human understanding, the principle of metaphorical expression plays a vastly greater role than most people realize. For it is the natural instrument of our greatest mental achievement — abstract thinking."

"With this, Langer arrives at the ultimate purpose of art: Art is the articulation, not the stimulation or catharsis, of feeling; and the height of technique is simply the highest power of this sensuous revelation and wordless abstraction."

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"Inequality is highly abstract and seems to have a momentum of its own, given that it constantly travels in the opposite direction to the one everybody claims to want. This gives it the inevitability of gravity or weather. The academic’s answer is to try tethering it back to something concrete and actionable, with demonstrable outcomes: a wealth disparity of X leads to a longevity difference of Y."
    
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"All that remained was an eternity of what sounded very much like boredom: “The end of history will be a very sad time,” Fukuyama wrote. “The struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination and idealism will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.” Perhaps the prospect of that boredom, Fukuyama mused, might restart history." 

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"And climate change, whatever the very real impacts that are already evident, is still an abstract threat requiring shared global action."


"Common human traits, such as the capacity for abstract thinking, creativity and self-consciousness, are effaced in the name of what divides us. In this sense, multiculturalism is just as fixated on race as the racist thought of the past."

"Furthermore, as Adamson argues, the multicultural view of immigrants doesn’t treat them as individuals who have a basic human need for self-determination; rather, ‘the immigrant’ is an abstract type, a species, a race."

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"What is also true is that the liberals have completely lost 'the sublime', by which I mean a cause, something bigger than us, bigger than our everyday calculations. The reason that Brexiters won was because the defenders of the EU didn't have any vision or values to propose to the voters, they just fought back with calculations. We live in a culture of repressive desublimation, to use Marcuse's term. We do not speak of love, but of sex and body parts. On the one hand, people like it, on the other, life is hell without the sublime. We need to bring back the sublime in politics. The left needs it."

"KOD is dominated by the middle class. It's easy for the middle class to abstract from their material situation because their material situation is not so bad. They don't talk about inequality because it's not their problem."
    
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"Rosa Luxemburg was a socialist writer and politician active in Polish, German, and Russian socialist movements. For her, philosophy is not a contemplation of certain specifically chosen concepts or a pure critical engagement of abstract theoretical issues; it is an action geared towards a structural transformation of the barbaric and exploitative capitalist society."