(1) Al Gore reads Habermas; (2) Habermasians theorizing international relations
- (1) Gore on the Threat to American Democracy.
Who cares? Richard Wolin, in a recent _Chronicle of
Higher Education_ article ("Jürgen Habermasand
Post-Secular Societies," Sept. 23), seems to believe
that Habermas' take on post-secular society may be
especially appropriate for the current condition of
Anyway, Al Gore gave a speech Oct. 5 on the decline of
the media, our public discourse and the threat to
American democracy itself, in which he said:
"....It is important to note that the absence of a
two-way conversation in American television also means
that there is no "meritocracy of ideas" on television.
To the extent that there is a "marketplace" of any
kind for ideas on television, it is a rigged market,
an oligopoly, with imposing barriers to entry that
exclude the average citizen.
The German philosopher, Jurgen Habermas, describes
what has happened as "the refeudalization of the
public sphere." .... it's a phrase that packs a lot of
meaning. The feudal system, which thrived before the
printing press democratized knowledge and made the
idea of America thinkable, was a system in which
wealth and power were intimately intertwined, and
where knowledge played no mediating role whatsoever.
The great mass of the people were ignorant. And their
powerlessness was born of their ignorance...."
(2) Democratizing Global Politics.
Habermasian students of cosmopoly would be interested
in "Critical International Relations Theory"
and a book by this blogger "influenced greatly by the
critical theory of Jürgen Habermas":
Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms,
International Regimes, and Political Community, SUNY
Also, since I'm at it, there's a new anthology of
essays on cosmopolitan thinking (though not
Habermasian, except for David Held):
The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism
eds., Gillian Brock & Harry Brighouse (Editor)
"Do national boundaries have fundamental moral
significance, or do we have moral obligations to
foreigners that are equal to our obligations to our
compatriots?....this volume brings together a number
of distinguished political philosophers and theorists
to explore cosmopolitanism and the positive arguments
that can be made for it. Their essays provide a
comprehensive overview of the current state of the
debate as well as the alternative visions of
cosmopolitanism that will interest a wide range of
readers in philosophy, political theory, and law."