Re: The U.N and the U.S
- Matt and all,
Again, apologies for this tardy response. I have bad karma with
yahoogroups and have not been recieving postings until today.
Matt, your posting below brought to my mind Maslow's hierarchy of
needs. A sense of material security is a more fundamental (and
perhaps powerful) need than a sense of a self-actualizing community,
which is a very high-level need.
So, perhaps it's not a lack of c.r. in the society you mention that
stands in the way of a wish to adopt democracy; perhaps it's an
awareness of the precariousness of their existence.
Also (and I'm not sure if Habermas spells this out), to desire true
democracy a people must have a significant fraction who have
achieved Kohlberg's stage of post-conventional morality. Without
this, they won't recognize authoritarian government as a problem,
Here, in the US we have a majority who have only achieved the level
of conventional morality, and therefore the authoritarian regime now
in power doesn't worry them. Right after 9/11, even the post-
conventional minority regressed psychologically back to desiring a
strong father to make the world safe.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Matthew Piscioneri"
> to pick up aspects of your post that also -- coincidentally --
> to Gary's latest post. I applaud your evenhanded approach here:to
> > I don't think that we Westerners have the right to expect others
> > change to become like us. But, as Habermas says, the reasoninherent
> > in spoken language is common to all cultures. Discourse withthos
> > cultures will foster a process of self-reflection that doesn'thave
> > to be a neo-colonization by the West. They will be able tohave
> > consciously decide what to integrate from the West; they will
> > more options not fewer. The only options taken away are the onescountry.
> > requiring ignorance.
> Interestingly, recently I had a long conversation with a [young]
> person from a newly democratizing (and predominantly Islamic)
> We touched on issues to do with the value of democracy and itsand
> viability and validity in this person's country.
> She was ambivalent about transposing a western model of democracy
> democratic culture onto the socio-political lifeworld of hercountry.
> On the one hand, a freer media appeared welcome as was greaterto
> tolerance of alternative political parties. However, there seemed
> be a yearning for a more autocratic political structure that inthe
> past had generated greater economic prosperity. Indeed, oneimpression
> she had was that democratization had diminished sovereignty,*democracy*
> especially in the financial-economic sphere.
> Firstly, this made me question again the extent to which
> is a universally applicable model of social governance. To afurther
> extent, i think this point needs careful reflection:appear
> > But, as Habermas says, the reason inherent
> > in spoken language is common to all cultures.
> I can't quite articulate my intuitions on this one, but there
> to be other factors in certain cultures (as there once were in thethe
> Occidental tradition) that *overpower* the communicative reason
> invested in language. Moreover, in light of the contingency of
> communicative reason's sway over c.r lifeworlds, it suggests to me
> that these factors remain as potent potentials everywhere. Indeed,
> TCA2 precisely focuses on the erosion of communicative reason at
> hands of a functionalist reason out of control. So whilst c.rmight be
> there in all dialogical language practice, it's not necessarilyalways
> able to assert itself.you
> There probably need to be more hybrid political systems evolve, as
> >They will be able to
> >consciously decide what to integrate from the West
> one last point:
> I think we also have to be careful not to conflate democracy with
> Judaeo-Christian heritage in an inverted way so that theaffirmation
> of democratic values does not automatically entail the affirmationof
> the J-C religious/moral tradition.
- Matt and everyone,
"I think we also have to be careful not to conflate democracy with the
Judaeo-Christian heritage in an inverted way so that the affirmation
of democratic values does not automatically entail the affirmation of
the J-C religious/moral tradition."
at the end of your post and I quote it only to preface my response.
If you will recall, Habermas contends that reason should be emancipatory and that the emancipatory interest is related to the Enlightenment's interest in and use of reason which Habermas has reconstructed as communicative. In doing this, Habermas has posited CR as a relating to a process of secularization and therefore as opposed to and critical of the religious traditions, namely the clerical class and its followers, as well as to any tradition which claims it has authority without offering reasons or listening to other's reasons. This seems to me to be thorough criticism of Western traditions. Can we look at these traditions in terms of Habermas's possible motivations, namely the criticism of German nazism and then can we simply turn our attention ever so slightly to Western authoritarianism, ethnocentrism, racial hatred, etc... and then (hope I am not causing any spasms yet) to the nonsense in the Middle East where religious strife (don't you hate that Heideggerian
term) is rampant. Is the wholesale murder of one's enemies in the Middle East somehow different from the Nazi practice or the US practice? I think not and I question the financial basis for all of these explosives and arms continuously turning up as if there is no end.
But, what am I really interested in now is Rorty's criticism of Habermas. I have been reading a new text which is a compilation of the Derrida-Habermas debate and contains one of Rorty's articles. But, I wonder if anyone has found an interesting article about Rorty's response to Habermas' reaction to postmodernism. Fred
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hello Fred,
agree with this and nicely phrased:
<Habermas contends that reason should be emancipatory and that the
emancipatory interest is related to the Enlightenment's interest in
and use of reason which Habermas has reconstructed as communicative.
In doing this, Habermas has posited CR as a relating to a process of
secularization and therefore as opposed to and critical of the
there's Rorty's essay in _Habermas and Modernism_, some comments in
Rorty's _Philosophy and Social Hope_ and always Norris' examination
of Habermas & Rorty in his book on _Postmodernism_.
I'll do a database search and see what comes up.
- Thomas McCarthy's _Ideals and Illusions_ may also be worth looking at
Fred for background/interpretation of the Rorty-Habermas conversation.