Lipton’s Journal/February 7, 1955/454
Let me put it another way. Nature was man’s first opposite, completing him, extending him, but destroying him. To rise to a higher state, man had to accept first the direct social contract (primitive communism) and then the abstract social contract which involved more and more the alienation of the producer from his tools and the varieties of his expressions. (Irritation produces the pearl.)
From the garden of Eden where man was a step above the animals, and no more, Eve bit at the apple of knowledge (no, she gave it to Adam) and so man was expelled from paradise. This folk-tail, this cliché, is the expression of the beginning of the social contract and the abstract social contract. The next highest form of life will have the abstract abstract social contract. So society today, far far beyond nature completes man, extends him, but destroys him. And primitive man, truly primitive man must have fucked his mother and lived in bliss but for the total danger-beauty of Nature. So the incest taboo was begun and man took a higher step—at what cost.
Yet man finds the dignity of his existence in the hope that his actions, his refusals to recognize his own self, enables the man of the future to realize himself more completely. (The Jews in their persecution have always been intensely aware of this.) So, déjà vu. The future is glimpsed by the depth of our penetration into ourself. When we predict, we are making the greatest bet—we are saying that to truly know oneself is to be able to know the nature of the future. Hence the appeal of the stock-market, the race-course, etc. Even the juggling of currencies. The money-changer is betting that he knows the political nature of the future—that he is an historian projecting into the future.