Patientive being: causal liabilities, affordances, susceptibilities

Causal forces of an entity are either causal powers or causal liabilities, the former are attributes of the agentive aspect of the entity, the latter of its patientive aspect.

For perhaps obvious reasons, those who believe in human emancipation from oppression & exploitation have focused on people as agents, rather than as patients, of people doing things rather than having things done to them. Consequently our knowledge is lopsided, unbalanced, resulting in our expectations of achieving progress being seriously exaggerated, misleading, unwittingly sowing illusions, which when revealed invariably cause widespread disappointment (Craib).

A chronic weakness of Bhaskar & others, after having stressed the onticity of human causal liabilities, is that for almost 40 years now they have hardly begun to identify & describe them. Human causal liabilities have been integral to the destruction of both the idea of socialism and of socialist & working class organisations. Understanding them is necessary for reviving the defensive & emancipatory means available to people.


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