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(1) Al Gore reads Habermas; (2) Habermasians theorizing international relations

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  • Gary E. Davis
    (1) Gore on the Threat to American Democracy. Who cares? Richard Wolin, in a recent _Chronicle of Higher Education_ article ( Jürgen Habermasand Post-Secular
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2005
      (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
      American democracy:


      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...."

      The transcript:

      (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
      UP, 2004


      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)
      Cambridge U.P.

      "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."



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