needs, wants and desires...a philosophical take

needs, wants and desires…

if one were to ask, what actually drives the world, we could
answer needs, wants and desires…

I need water to stay alive… I want a new car… I desire that girl on the TV…

And due to various physical, psychological, emotional needs, we may and indeed
demand much different things as part of our needs…

In Maslow pyramid of needs, we have bodily needs as the base…
to need food, water, shelter, education, health care, air…
are some of the basic biological needs we all have, as
biological creatures…each biological creature has slightly different
biological needs due to evolution, biology, environment, factors which
play into all biological creatures needs…
so in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we have bodily, physical needs…
and we have psychological needs… of being loved and security and safety,
to be esteemed, to be wanted, once again, these psychological needs
are formed due to evolution, biology, environment, family…in my own
family, brother and sisters, we are, all of us, despite our vast personal
differences, we are all very independent types…in other words, I can meet
my internal needs, internally…I am quite happy to be by myself, for days on end…
and this is true of all my sisters and brother… because of the chaotic nature of
our childhood, we are a very independent bunch… by family, by environment,
by biology, we respond differently to different factors… it has been said, the most
basic of human responses is the “fight or flight” response… for the most part,
my own personal response is to fight… my brother is to flight and there is no right or
wrong here…

I don’t need outside approval of who I am or of my actions… it simply doesn’t matter
to me if you approve or disapprove of who I am or my actions… my wife, weighs
every single decision of hers, based on its approval or disapproval of whomever
she is thinking about…not right or wrong, just is…

so this question of needs, wants and desires has quite personal
response to it… so there is an individual aspect to this question
of needs, wants and desires… but there is clearly a collective
aspect… how well does my own personal needs, wants and desires
fit into a collective understand of existence?

If my own needs and wants and desires leads me to want to kill and eat
children, I can make a defense of it, based upon my own needs
wants and desires… but there is no selling it to the collective…
but if I want to make billions of dollars, there is no need for me
to sell that need, want or desire to the collective…it is part of
the assumption of being human to want to collect money and
material goods… to fulfill your own personal needs, wants and desires
but within a very set and determined course of actions…
I can want to make millions of dollars and society, the state,
the civilization will not condone or try to stop me…
so I can fulfill my needs and wants and desires, only selectively,
based upon what will be allowed by the state/society…

so this interaction between the state and the individual, in regards
to meeting our own personal needs, wants and desires is limited by the
state, depending upon its own needs, wants and desires…

now this leaves us the question, does the state/society have the
same needs, wants and desires collectively as we do individually?

if we look at the state/society under the same light as we do our
own individual needs, wants and desires, under Maslow Hierarchy
of values, we see that the state/society does have many if not all,
the same needs, wants and values of any individual…

the state desires much of what an individual want, to survive
and live on, to meet its own internal needs and wants, which is
reached by taxes… to provide protection, to be protected as the
individual needs and wants to be protected…
one of the primary needs of the state is to be safe and secure…
isn’t that one of the primary needs of an individual?
the hierarchal needs of the state/society is, on its own terms,
the same as an individual…the state/society motivation is in
reaching its own needs, wants and desire… just as we do
individually… and different states/societies due to evolution,
environment, collective needs, will have different agenda’s,
needs, wants and desires…

the state/society is the individual writ large…

let look at this a bit deeper… I was 41 when 9/11 happened…
my mindset was pretty much formed by that time… I had been married for
several years, I had a set and stable job…and yet given all this,
when a trauma like 9/11 strikes, my mindset changed…
and what can be said individually, can be said socially/within the state…
our collective mindset changed… the world was much different before
9/11 in terms of our mindset… we no longer felt safe and secure in our
homes after 9/11… and we know from Maslow’s pyramid of needs,
that safety/security is one of the values we give a great deal of importance
to…what is true of us individually, is also true collectively…
America has been mentally hurt, within our needs and wants and
that is part of the problem today… the conservative never got over
being hurt, mentally hurt, psychologically hurt on 9/11…
and it drives their own needs and wants to this day…

and for the conservative, every act, speech and choices has been driven by
their need for safety/security… that is one of, if not the primary
need of the conservative… to feel safe and secure… look at what they
support and don’t support… they hold gun values are of greater importance
then children in school being safe, they hold to allowing torture in people
to get information that will allow us to “feel safer”… every single thing
they promote, is to increase their safety and security…why did Rittenhouse
travel to another state with guns? to “protect” that state…every action
of the conservative is to fulfill a personal need… the question one must
ask, is the conservative even aware of this overriding need to be safe
and secure? to be safe and secure above all other needs?

and therein lies the current dichotomy in America…
each side is chasing different needs and wants and desires…

every action taken is to “protect” America and its values/people…
so says the conservative, but what does the liberal/ the left need,
wants and desire?

the liberal holds to the same hierarchical pyramid that conservatives hold
to, but we hold to a different set of values… allowing/helping people
to meet their basic biological needs of food, water, shelter, education,
health care…and although Maslow never mentions it, not to my knowledge,
liberals hold to justice/equality…
for people to be treated justly/fairly… regardless of race, creed, color,
gender, sexual orientation…but to a conservative, the idea of justice
lays below, beneath the need of safety, security…
what is the point of justice/equality if there is no safety/security?

in seeking out our needs, wants and desires, individually and collectively,
we can begin to see the past, present and future… what was in terms
of our needs, wants and desires, and what is, in terms of our current
needs, wants and desires, and what will be, in terms of our needs,
wants and desire…

we can use this information to formulate our actions, individually and
collectively…but there is a problem…
how do we know, as knowledge, what is the right needs
and desires and wants in us, both individually and collectively?

Epistemological, how do we know what is the right needs, wants
and desires to seek out? how are we to sort out what needs
are useful, desirable needs, wants and desires as oppose
to needs, wants and desires that are “bad” for us,
both individually and collectively?

as I pointed out earlier, I may want/need to kill and eat children,
but how am I to understand that need/want epistemological?

what knowledge would I use or gather that may allow me
to know the best values and needs and wants and desires to
pursue?

I may want or need to murder and eat children, but how would I know
that that action is wrong? or even undesirable? what criteria would
I use to make a decision about whether or not murdering and eating children
is in fact, wrong or undesirable?

what knowledge would I use to understand my needs, wants or desires?

Kropotkin

so feel free to marshal facts, logic, feelings,
to convince me that murdering and eating children
is wrong…

and when it is all said and done, it will come down to
personal preference, what I individually think about this practice…

for example, I can point out that the killing of children, within
a societal construct is easy to point out… Sparta was well known
for killing the newly born child if it was deformed, or seem to be ''weak"
to quote History.com

“Infanticide was disturbingly common act in the ancient world,
but in Sparta this practice was organized and managed by the
state”

now use logic or reason or facts to tell me what was wrong with this?

Epistemology, how would one attack or defend this practice of
“infanticide”?

in the end, it does come down to one’s own personal prejudices about
the killing of children…for example, had I been born in Sparta, I would
have been tossed off the mountain, as being a unhealthy child, a handicapped
child… I have a viewpoint about his because of my own personal history…
and it isn’t about facts or logic or reason…

so once again, how would we defend “infanticide” within an
Epistemological choice?

and how do we work out this act of “infanticide” within the needs,
wants and desires of both the individual and the collective/state?

Kropotkin

and Epistemological how would I go about defending my own
needs, wants and desires? what facts or knowledge would I
use to defend my own needs, wants and desires, but
more importantly…we each have needs, wants and desires,
but the state has it owns needs, wants and desires…
so how would we go about understanding what needs, wants
and desires of ours, individually, is accepted by the state?

in other words, given the conflict between our individual needs,
wants and desires and the state needs, wants and desires,
how do we choose which one has priority?
as a matter of knowledge or of Epistemology, how are we going to
know which needs, wants and desire we are going to give preference
to, the individual or the states?

or how are we going to know or understand between two individuals,
which needs, wants or desires take priority?

these daily conflicts between the state and the individual
and the individual and the individual, how do we work these out?

IAM and William Barrett calls them “competing values” or
values in conflict, between one or more individual and within
the individual and the state/society…

Epistemology, how are we going to decide which needs, wants
and desires are values worth holding and worth acting upon?

what criteria would I/we use to decide what needs, wants
and desires are worth holding, both individually and collectively?

Kropotkin

Needs = physical, e.g., need for nutrition, hydration, oxygen etc.
Lack. Consequence of interactivity, i.e., existing.

Desires = mental, e.g., desire for sexual gratification ([size=85]libidinal[/size]), desire for distraction ([size=85]boredom[/size]).
Excess. Consequence of successfully satisfying needs. Need to expunge excess energies.

Wants = synthesis of needs/desires.
Manufactured.
Wanting something that can satisfy needs and gratify desires.

so how are we to understand ourselves, given our needs,
wants and desire?

by what means do we undertake to understand ourselves?

do I use needs, wants and desires to understand who I am,
or do I use some other means? by this I mean, do I
use history, economics, philosophy, biology, social science,
science itself to make sense of who I am? or do I use all of them
put together? and the problem with using all of the disciplines
lies with the problem of subjectivism… can I know myself
objectively, as some form of impartial knowledge, is that a thing?
impartial knowledge?

Socrates big and profound maxim was, “to know thyself”

and how do I go about doing that? what sources of knowledge
would I use to understand myself? would I use logic, emotions,
history, economics, my understanding of my own needs, wants
and desires? among the many, many, many possibilities of getting
to “know thyself”

what criteria would I use to gain some understanding of “Knowing thyself”

if asked, how would I answer the question, Who are you?..

Am I the needs, wants and desires of my body/soul?
am I that who seeks knowledge and understanding?
Am I some “impartial knowledge?”
or to understand myself in terms of Socrates maxim,
from a subjective standpoint?

can I answer as god answered, “I am who I am”…
Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh…

can I truly say, I am “Yahweh”

perhaps, perhaps…

Kropotkin

K: a whole lot of random, subjective words, that mean nothing because
I have no information as to the objectivity to this, just
the subjectivity of your statement…in other words, we have
your “truth” and we have “my truth” and so, what is the objectively
real “truth?” what can I say truthfully, that is objectively true?
all we have are subjective truths, and no way to reach any sort
of objective “truths”…

or said another way, prove to me within ‘‘Epistemology’’ that you are right?

Kropotkin

there are two possibilities in seeking an answer,
one possibility is seeking an answer from the outside,
looking into a room in which lies the answers, but
never getting within the problem, just seeing it from
a distance
and the other possibility is seeking from within,
being inside of the problem and looking out…

ancient method of philosophy was to live a philosophy…
to be within a philosophy was the goal, not to watch
or see philosophy, but to engaged with it as part of,
within it…

so we have two methods of philosophy,
to exist, by watching the truth,
Descartes and Kant and Heidegger for example,
but which modern philosopher engaged
with philosophy as part of the problem,
to live within a philosophy?

the answer seems to be one and one only,
Wittgenstein… the problem didn’t lay outside of him,
it laid within him…and only by an engagement with
being part of the problem, can I see possible solutions…

so, the question becomes, are you within the problem and looking out,
or do you exists outside of the problem, looking in?

and by which way you look, decides and determines which answers you
get…

as for myself, I try to get inside a problem, and thus I am always looking out…

how do you face a problem? from within or from the outside?

Kropotkin

a modern-day question of existentialism, is this question of
authenticity… how do we become “Authentic” human beings?

one might argue, that becoming Authentic lies within something,
not living outside of something… seeing the problem from the room,
not from outside of the room…

being part of existence, by living with, to be part of,
as a way of life, can we become Authentic…

that is why Nietzsche was so effective… he was living within
a problem, not from a distance, but within the problem…
morality as a question isn’t a spectator game, but an attempt to
understand what is ethical/moral within my own engagement with
myself and my environment…

do you stand withing a problem or do you stand outside of a problem?

do you see the problem of needs, wants and desires as being something to
be seen or do you “feel” the problem?

If I say, “I need to be loved” is that within the problem or outside
of the problem? what needs, wants and desires we may have,
we must engage with them, as a part of us, not as something
that lies outside of us, but within us…

Kropotkin

I write down the word, “moon”…
and I can investigate that word
in a wide variety of ways, historically, biologically,
scientifically, socially, economically, politically, philosophically…

and let us say, that a Greek, perhaps Socrates, wrote down
the word, “moon”…

it refers to the exact same object, the “moon”, but does it mean the
same thing? in other words, we “see” the word “moon” differently,
both individually and collective, and we “see” the word differently
then Socrates, for example…because of different factors of birth,
education, history, social, environmental, state and church, we
then see the word “moon” differently…

in other words, I see and understand the word “moon” differently
then Socrates because of these factors…
if this is true, and it really must be, then
when we approach the concepts of Needs, wants and desires,
the Greeks will see them differently than I do, and someone
else, another writer on ILP, will see the concept of the “Moon”
differently than I do because of those various factors mentioned,
hereditary, birth, class, wealth, education, work, (socioeconomic
causes) state and church, among other reasons, I will see
the word, “moon” differently than others…

it is not a question of being right or wrong, but simply a question
of interpretation…and that interpretation is influenced by
the circumstances of my life, the birth, life and death of my life,
will impact my own understanding of concepts…

and what does it mean to be “Autonomous?”

it means we are, as much as possible, freed from other sources,
of birth, education, state, church, of understanding that word,
“Moon”… in other words, being Autonomous means offering up
our own interpretation of the word “moon”… without the
influence of those factors of birth, life and death that impact
all our other aspects of our existence…

so, when I see the word “moon” I am not impacted by
those who believe that we haven’t been to the “moon”,
I hold that we have been to the moon… I hold that the “moon”
isn’t made up of cheese, I don’t believe as others do, that
the 'moon" is a spiritual object or an object that impacts us
on a mystical level…

the “moon” is simply a space object that is the nearest space
object to the planet earth and one day, we will, human beings,
be living on the “moon”… not as a one off, project, but as a
continuous forever more project…

but what about Socrates? how did he view the “moon?”
that was some combination of personal and Athenian
viewpoint that he got from his society, lifestyle, class,
education, socio-economic position, his religion…
and because we have far different backgrounds, history,
speech, socio-economic backgrounds, we see the word
“moon” very differently…

so, when I ask, what do we need? or what do I want? or what is
our desires? it means something different to everyone else…

the question for me is not, what is language? but how is language
even possible? as we view words and ideas and concepts very differently
due to our differing circumstances… birth, live and everything in between…

I see the “moon” and I say, there is the “moon” but what that “moon”
represents or how is seen, is very, very different.
then how you might see it…

to my wife, somehow, the “moon” is magical and means romance
and beauty… I don’t see that at all…

so how do we communicate if we have such vastly different
thoughts as to even basic concepts like the “moon?”

so, I say, I want… Graham crackers… do you understand that
sentence the same way as I do?

the way we human make sense of communication is to assume,
on a vast scale, that we can communicate different thoughts
to each other because we see different aspects of existence
the same… but I hold that most communication is really
isn’t that complete… it is rather superficial and about as deep
as a piece of paper…if we were to look at what we say and
how people really understand it, we would realize
that we don’t actually communicate to other people…

we offer up vague, superficial, ambiguous, imprecise
words and other people just interpret those words as best
as they can given their different understanding of words
as the word “moon” suggests, is there such a thing as
communication? if there is, it is, at best, vague and
ambiguous and fuzzy…we hear a word, and we try
to understand it as best as we can… and failure,
failure in communication happens all, the fucking, time…

and I say this as a long-time married man, 25 years
and still, my wife and I miscommunicate all the time…
because we use words differently and understand words
differently…and that is because of our different education,
birth, church, socio-economic conditions growing up,
all the factors that make communication, true
communication between people hard…
even with brothers and sisters, family members we have
known for 60 years, we still fail in the act of communication with
each other…

it is not a miracle that communication happens, it is a miracle
that we even sort of understand what we are trying to say to
the other guy… so, when I ask about needs, wants, and desires,
we mean different things because of different factors…

Kropotkin

now let us approach this question of the “moon”
in terms of “symbolically” and what does “symbolically”
mean?

Symbolically: 1. purely in terms of what is being represented or
implied.
“The words are to be taken both literally and symbolically”

  1. as or by means of a symbol or symbolism.

“The household symbolically represented a nation or homeland”

Are you fucking kidding me? how are we to understand
something like the “moon” symbolically, when we can’t even
agree to its meaning without any symbols involved?

“I love you” is that a real statement or is that a symbolic statement,
or both?

to hold that this world languages are symbolic in nature implies
that we hold to the words mean the same thing symbolically to
us… you might think, symbolically, that the word “moon” is love
or light, whereas I might think the “moon” has no symbolic
understanding…or perhaps it means symbolically, something different
then you do…

Socrates may have meant the word “moon” literally or he may have
meant it symbolically…and in either case, I can’t be sure what
he meant because how I view the word “moon” is different than
how he did…we cannot communicate in any real sense because
of the differences between our understanding of the use of words,
be it literally or be it symbolically…

and the only way we might be able to think about us having
communication between us is just assuming that Socrates
had the same meaning of the word, “moon” as I do…
yep, we basically just assume that we are communicating
whereas we may not do any such thing and are fooling ourselves
into thinking we are engaged in something called communication…

Kropotkin

so when we philosophers sit down and “do” philosophy
and work out what is “reality”…

and given that I view “reality” different then you do, how are we to
bridge that gap in understanding?

what is reality? ask 1000 people as to what is reality and you will
get 1001 different answers… that doesn’t mean we
don’t know what reality is, we just can’t communicate
our own understanding of “our” reality to each other…

I say, reality is… am I using that literally or am I using that
symbolically? the only one who actually knows is me,
and I might not even be able to tell the difference…

philosophically, on what grounds are we going to agree upon
that allows, or make our own individual understanding
of “reality” to be known?

epistemological, how do I work out what is “reality?”

or do I just avoid the epistemological viewpoint altogether
and try for an Aesthetic viewpoint of the world or do I
try for an historical or economic or social viewpoint of
the world… knowing that our understanding
of what it means to human is going to be different,
and sometimes vastly different

Kropotkin

as referenced by the book “Time of the Magicians”
by Wolfram Eilenberger, I will work on one aspect of
philosophy… Wittgenstein telling and his showing…

you can tell someone what the “moon” is but you can
simple take them outside and show them the “moon”

now even if I were to take you outside and show you the moon,
instead of doing, as Socrates did, write down “moon”,
we would still run into communication issues…
I show you the “moon”… I point it out,
and may even say, “the Moon”… but
you might even understand it is the “moon”
but because of your prior education, history, language,
socio-economic and place of birth, you may not see the exact same
thing as I do, the “moon”…

for you, the “moon” may be alive, or some symbolic idea or
the son of some god… we may see the exact same thing
and have completely different ideas about what it is…
showing something does not ensure us the ability to
communicate with each other…or to understand each other…

when I see the “moon” it is a rock moving about the earth, with
no signs of life or intelligence…

you may see it holding life or being alive or being sentient
or it being a god or the child of a god or any one of hundreds
of possibilities…

showing someone, something doesn’t ensure that we hold the
same ideas about that thing…point out a dead body to
me will get a different response then showing a dead body
to a, say Chinese person… because of our different educational,
socio-economic, historical and economic, (to name a few of the vast
differences between us) and because of those differences,
we will see a dead body differently…

and then how do we communicate those difference between us?

the Platonic idea of the “allegory of the cave” isn’t just about
those who manage to escape the cave, but the question of
communication between any two people… the “allegory of the cave”
asks, is communication possible?

and we have my answer, so what is your answer?

Kropotkin

Needs/Desires/Wants = subjective.
Wants can be inter-subjective - collective.
Object/Objectives = what the subject judges to be able to satisfy the subject’s needs/desires.

Value = effort, work, distance required for the subject to attain its object/objective.
The object/objective my not necessarily satisfy, or not completely satisfy, his needs/desires.

Example = Joe wants a car because he estimates - judges - that the car will help him satisfy his need for food, by helping him find a job, and by helping go to the market…and to gratify his desire to find a girlfriend, which may gratify his desire to have sex, and/or have a family.
To what degree the car will do so is uncertain.

Ta, Ta,

Although the word "need, “Desire”, “want” are conventionally used interchangeably for our purposes they will be used to differentiate two different types of experience with anxiety directing us two different types of objects/objectives to cope with them.
It will also serve to define what pleasure is.

The typical man doesn’t seek clarity, he seeks pleasure not wanting to ruin his experience with understanding.

As such…
Need’s object/objective is anything that replenishes what has been lost, and is continuously being lost, in existence -longing, lack.

Desire’s object/objective is a product of the first and seeks to expunge what has been accumulated through multiple, consistent, successful attainment of need’s objectives.
We can include alongside procreation the creation, or art. creation, innovation as a form of expunging of excess energies.

Wan’t’s object/objective is either that which replenishes what is being lost, or expunges what is being accumulated, or both at the same time or at different times.

Pleasure is now revealed to be a “negative” state, viz., an ephemeral state of being gratified/satisfied before a new need/desire takes its place in our consciousness, or our old needs/desires begin to rise again in our consciousness, demanding our attentions.
A state of distraction or need/desire falling beneath our level of awareness - well-being, comfort, is what we call such a state.
The sudden expunging of energies is called orgasm.
The sudden satisfaction of need is experienced as extreme pleasure - ecstasy.

and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…

Kropotkin

Sometimes a retard is just a retard.

Tell me, again, how I live in Russia Siberia, in my cabin, enjoying a peaceful Winter. Or how I am the poster “obsrvr524”. Or how I claim I am “for peace”.

Go on, Commie, tell me. I want to hear more about me, from you.

A cigar…is a human creation.
We are talking about nature and its manifestations.
A book cannot be judged by its cover because it is manufactured according to human criteria, and the cover can deceive like humans can using words/symbols…but an organism can be judged by how it appears because its appearance is an interpretation of its presence which is a manifestation of its past.
The body cannot deceive; the mind can.

The interesting thing is that Bernays - Freud’s nephew - marketed cigarette smoking to women as a phallic symbol of their emancipation - taking advantage of a much ignored syndrome, i.e., penis envy - source of modern feminism.
Cigar smoking is, of course, how males, and now females, signal their paternalistic prowess…their wealth and privilege, their calm demeanour, their discriminating tastes…the networking they enjoy.

Just as sports cars are human self-handicapping signs…like deer horns and peacock tails.