Re: MD secular humanism and dynamic quality

Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 03:08:37 BST

  • Next message: MATTHEW PAUL KUNDERT: "Re: MD secular humanism and dynamic quality"


    David said:
    Hi, this makes me think, the problem is that we do not have any democratic social representation/forums to discuss our societies in terms of goods/social goals. My problem is less with government and the trivial problems of making laws, what I want to debate is values/goals i.e. those things that should determine what our governments do. At the moment this is done by an unelected media, often under the influence of certain wealthy minorities. I propose, the people take control of the media, the government is has no power.....

    Well, sure, you may think law passing trivial, but I think that Americans should be fighting like hell in the policy-driven political arena to stop, say, the passing of a Constitutional Amendment outlawing gay marriage.

    As I think my interlocuters and I end up finding out in a lot of conversations I'm involved in, we're mostly talking at cross-purposes. We _don't_ have enough governmentally sanctioned forums with which to discuss our values and goals. I've never disagreed with that. I think one of the main things advanced industrial societies need to do is try and repair local communities, first generate the sense of community in one's home town or burrough and then work outwards from there, extending the sense of community, the sense of who is included in "us," until it includes the entire global community. But for various psychological, sociological, and philosophical reasons (depending on which idiom you choose to express it), I think you have to start small first.

    So, again, I'm not sure where we quite disagree, except maybe on the triviality of policy making (after all, it's going to be a law that establishes these forums we'd like for cultural conversation). Oh and this:

    David said:
    I definitely fall into the "spectatorial cynicism" -no actually 'spectorial relecting but not doing much' category. Your danger I suggest is to fall into the 'let's hang on to liberalism as hard as we can as it is crushed' category, you are more optimistic that your strategy is not doomed, I am more optimistic that a better strategy can be found. Perhaps you should take my wager that we better try and come up with something better than liberalism in case liberalism is not going to hack it. Try starting with Roy Bhaskar.

    Well, I'll tell you, maybe I might fall into the "trying to hang on to liberalism too hard." But I want to be optimistic enough about myself to think that if somebody comes up with a better idea than liberalism, I'll jump on board. The problem with "spectatorial cynicism" isn't that it's the opposite of what I take my position to be ("working with liberalism until a better idea comes along"). The mirror image of my ideal position is "working with liberalism until I come up with a better idea." The problem with spectators is that they aren't working towards anything. They aren't working with what they have, nor are they doing anything about "what they have." The problem with so-called critical theory is that I don't think any theoretical advances are going to help our present situation. Again, maybe it will, but if you are cynical as opposed to involved-but-pissed, you'll wait around for the next revolution and in the mean time the enemies of utopia will reform us into
     the stone age.


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