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Nature, too, Awaits the Revolution (Synopsis)

The erotic energy of nature - an energy which is there to be liberated; nature, too, awaits the revolution! (Herbert Marcuse, Counter-Revolution and Revolt) - how can this sentence be rationally reconstructed?

The paper proposes to define nature as the aggregate of all self-organizing objects of physics. This establishes a formal teleology which enables us to attribute "intention" to nature without a recourse to metaphysics: anything that turns self-organization into self-destruction is "against nature's intention" because it opposes the very meaning of nature.

There are several levels of self-organization in nature, the two highest being sexuality and mind. In contrast to lower levels of self-organization, sexuality "plots" and optimizes the information for catalytic self-production by combining two sets of data before realizing their inherent structures. Mind is an even higher level of self-organization in that intentional self-production doesn't need a physiological substrate to represent the plotted data.

As a somatic and at the same time self-conscious being, man is located amidst the two levels mentioned above. If you call the synthesis of sexuality and mind erotic, it can thus be said that the main principle of self-organization of man is erotic. Since sexuality and mind are the highest forms of self-organization we know of, we can call nature's potential for self-organization as a whole the erotic energy of nature.

Tensions between the two poles of sexuality and mind have lead to self-destructive deformations of erotic self-organization which is the subject of Sigmund Freud's studies (Civilization and Its Discontents) as well as Herbert Marcuse's (Eros and Civilization). While Freud takes a pessimistic stance on whether these tensions can be dissolved, Marcuse argues against Freud that they are induced by social conditions, and that revolutionary change will be able to dissolve them.

However, Marcuse's critique of Freud isn't fully consistent. An analysis of the inconsistencies suggests postulating a cognition instinct. Given this instinct, (revolutionary) change of social conditions could indeed dissolve the self-destructive tendencies obvious in current societies. Since self-destruction is "against nature's intention" (see above) and blocks its potential for self-organization, it can be said that this potential (nature's "erotic energy") is there to be ("intends") "liberated" ("unblocked from self-destruction"), and therefore nature, too, awaits the "revolution" (a social change that dissolves instincts of self-destruction).