Always the tough and twisting path with you guys. And God (whatever it is (love you for it. Still, it faces me with a tough negotiation. So I'll simplify things by going through it first quote to last and hope to get to John's. The catch is that I'll have focus on compression at the expense of fully explaining what I'm getting at. That said:
"Meaningful debates over policy - that is, politics, in the old sense of constructive collaboration - presumes a certain amount of agreement on basic values and commitments. That's what the 60's deprived us of. The presence or absence of that agreement, however it is accounted for, described, or regarded, is itself a sociological fact of tremendous importance.
The Atlantic ran an interesting article the other day. https://www.theatlantic.com/.../04/brea ... th/517785/
" -John Cassein
It’s a little like a recent scandal in which an American poet, after trying to publish a poem, resorted to submitting it under a Chinese name and got it published and saw it go on to be published in the Best American poetry series. But as Kurt Anderson, of Studio 360 fame, pointed out: we’re trying to right past wrongs; so mistakes will be made. And I would argue, against Rorty, that the mistakes of the cultural left were just the products of dealing with a rigid status quo.
I agree with you, John. But here’s the problem: the republican platform (as it stands now dominated by the hard right (basically comes into the discourse from the perspective of immediate self interest. The problem for them is that political discourses, by their inherent nature, are about hashing out a plan that will work for everyone even if it doesn’t perfectly work for everyone. This is why the right has had to resort to the cheap tactics they do such as harping on the failures of the 60’s academic culture. They cannot make a core argument for their position; therefore, they have to eat at the edges.
"Go Mendieta and Rorty. Yes, I've begun to feel shame about how my tribe (the left) has been shaming the other tribes. And yes, as a result I've become more emotionally engaged with more citizens of my country. Along with kicking the philosophy habit, I wish my brothers and sisters from the left would kick the moralizing habit. I mean honestly, the tales spun by the left about evil in hearts of the right get positively gothic. If we could say instead, "If I was in their shoes, I'd be doing the same things" and really believe it about ourselves, then we'd be more apt to focus on what really matters politically: "What kind society do we want and how do we get it?" -TJ Crow
The thing to understand about the 60's, is that it was the decade in which America first considered giving African Americans voting rights and women more rights than they had. Now you really have to consider what that says about the sensibility of most white male Americans before that point. So we can see why American universities felt they had to go to the ideological extremes they did. Granted, it was reactionary in nature, but given the situation of minorities and women at the time, it seems natural that academics would turn to the theoretical overreach that they did. And I consider this an oversight on Rorty's part as concerns his distinction between the reformist left and the cultural left which he disdains. I'm not saying it was right. I'm just saying it was a perfectly natural response to the circumstances and status quo of the time.
That said, John Butler:
“I don't think it is quite right to say that Rorty wanted a moratorium on "theory" or "philosophy" and leave it at that. I think Rorty wanted a moratorium on "Philosophy" and debates about "Truth" where the capitalization is designed, and used by Rorty, to signify the search for immutable answers, the Plato Kant tradition, as he called it. He also did want the Left to move beyond its focus on identity politics and move back to "lunch pail" politics, but where old theory needed updating for such an effort I don't get the sense that he would oppose that.”
Actually, I agree with you here, John. I would argue that he was about a more holistic or, as described in the philosophy textbook The Art of Wondering, synoptic approach that blurs the lines between various disciplines and allows them to do what they do without any consideration of what categories they are working in.
That said, guys: thanks for the brain strain and headache. You bastards!!!!!!!
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.
When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).
Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.
First we read, then we write. -Emerson.
All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.
You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.
I refuse to be taken seriously.
Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.