Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > Apollo diavlog comments
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Apollo diavlog comments Post comments about Apollo diavlogs here.
(Users cannot create new threads.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-07-2009, 03:59 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,936
Default Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-07-2009, 07:20 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
Deactivated User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Busan, South Korea (ROK)
Posts: 1,690
Send a message via Skype™ to Baltimoron
Default You Were Just Warming Up

A very ambitious diavlog...and another reason why this ridiculous time limit policy should go.

Props for tackling woo. But, it's not enough to analyze the scientific roots of global warming or hunger, without analyzing the social scientific problems of vested interests, rent-seeking, patents, and a whole host of other documented theories. hamandcheese (sic?) mentions the "tragedy of the commons", but there just wasn't enough time to get into a good discussion of that topic.

There needs to be a "Part 2" where both of you debate carbon taxes vs. cap and corruption (oooppps!), patents, and "tragedy of the commons".

If Ann Althouse or Michael Goldfarb can have 60 minutes, you two need 90!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-07-2009, 09:24 AM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 714
Default Re: You Were Just Warming Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
A very ambitious diavlog...and another reason why this ridiculous time limit policy should go.

Props for tackling woo. But, it's not enough to analyze the scientific roots of global warming or hunger, without analyzing the social scientific problems of vested interests, rent-seeking, patents, and a whole host of other documented theories. hamandcheese (sic?) mentions the "tragedy of the commons", but there just wasn't enough time to get into a good discussion of that topic.

There needs to be a "Part 2" where both of you debate carbon taxes vs. cap and corruption (oooppps!), patents, and "tragedy of the commons".

If Ann Althouse or Michael Goldfarb can have 60 minutes, you two need 90!
Thanks for the endorsement, Baltimoron. In fact, Sam and I spent awhile on the phone after we stopped recording debating the issue further--so there's definitely material for another DV.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-07-2009, 09:25 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Video link ...

... is here.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-07-2009, 05:07 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: new yorkistan
Posts: 708
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Hamandcheese reveals his sympathies to the juicebox mafia at 7:45.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:24 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Exiled to South Jersey
Posts: 2,436
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Absurd. He's clearly drinking a capri sun pack, which is functionally equivalent to a juicebox, but not the same.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:39 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,606
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

It was more a display of how young he is. Anyone drinking a capri sun instantly seems like sub 20s in age. It just does not appear in the hands of older people in the same numbers, like seeing someone on a skateboard. Not a bad thing btw as he seems considerably less confused and having a better filter to reality than most people, at whatever age.

Last edited by JonIrenicus; 12-08-2009 at 04:41 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:40 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Exiled to South Jersey
Posts: 2,436
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

He did admit to being Canadian, however. Do you figure there's some kind of cultural difference between Canada and the States with regard to Capri Sun?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:46 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,606
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
He did admit to being Canadian, however. Do you figure there's some kind of cultural difference between Canada and the States with regard to Capri Sun?
Not at all, I see capri sun as a universal sign of something you often drink when younger, that is all. Could be different in Canada though. I drank it much more when a younger kid, then graduated to caffeine, sweet caffeine.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-07-2009, 05:10 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: new yorkistan
Posts: 708
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

But seriously, excellent job examining an anti-science conspiracy theory of the far left.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-07-2009, 05:35 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: new yorkistan
Posts: 708
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

I enjoyed this a lot. You guys are really good.

To push back lightly at something around the 20:00 mark: There is more to "postmodernism" than relativity between the life of a human and a life of a tree. Obviously I think that is cracked. But some of what is considered postmodernism amounts to, for example, explaining the way the world becomes self-referential when communication becomes very rapid and very global. I.e. simulation, fake authenticity, etc. I think those things have worth and should be thought about. Not everything called postmodernism is nuts--the word is too big, encompasses too many ideas.

The test I use is: is something both 1) called postmodern and 2) an ideology. If so, I call it bad. So, like, the relativism you bring up ... I would agree that's both postmodern and stupid. But don't tar every 'postmodern' thought just because of that.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-07-2009, 06:53 PM
hamandcheese hamandcheese is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 48
Send a message via Skype™ to hamandcheese
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

I completely agree with you, Osmium. While what we were talking about certainly is under the postmoderm umbrella I don't at all think that it defines postmodern thought, especially when "postmodern philosophy" has contributed a lot to my own thinking. To be more specific, it would be part of the post-structuralist vein, that, though potentially useful, is ironically too easily molded to any conclusion -- including tree ethics, if not plain nihilism.

But not all of the postmodern influence is nihlisitic. I didn't mention Eco-Feminism, for example. An eco-feminist would assert something like: "The capitalist dominion over nature is a form of chauvinism. Its trenchedness is the result of a historically male dominated culture and its political institutions. Mans rape of the environment is no less Man's rape of the environment." Etc. Etc. Invariably they also incorporate Freud or Lacan and start calling smoke stacks an unconcious case of phallo-centricism. Really.

The Freudian influence on the new left is also postmodern, and is a direct result of the work of Herbert Marcuse, particularly his "Eros and Civilization". In it Marcuse ammended Freuds argument that Civilization is inherently and necessarily repressive to say that, not civilization, but Capitalism and it's legion are the repressors. This was in fact the intellectual foundation of the counterculture, and the ancestor to the later arguments against "mass produced society" and the technocracy.

So your quite right about postmodernism coming in very many kinds. But I defend my use of the term on the grounds that the postmodern influence on environmentalism has really been from every corner of postmodernity.

Last edited by hamandcheese; 12-07-2009 at 07:03 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:44 AM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Great Moravia
Posts: 1,117
Default postmodern tl;dr

I dunno. I think there's a lot more that this line of thinking has in common with nineteenth-century romanticism, which just takes the modern faith in material progress and turns it around. I mean, the fetish for the natural, for instance. It would take a postmodernist one second to look at that and say that that category is totally cultural, that there's nothing more essentially or authentically human about chewing a leaf or living off the land than there is in taking a pill or living in the city.

Granted, postmodernism is responsible for a lot of pseudo-intellectual denial of the rationally provable, but that doesn't mean that it's responsible for all of it. Similarly, I don't think that because the postmodernist would question the statement "We should make things better for the human race" that means that only postmodernists would -- the romantic environmentalist would say "Why should we make things better for humans and not trees?" but the postmodernist would probably say "What do you mean 'make things better', and what do you mean 'human race'?"

The question of what it means to make things better is probably where postmodernism does come into the things you were talking about, specifically the essay in The Nation about how the US supported the Green Revolution so people in poor countries wouldn't be pushed into communist uprisings by starvation. On the one hand, I definitely think the appropriate answer to this argument is "So what, at least they got food". On the other hand, I sort of think (without having read the essay, of course) that the writer would rather characterize it as "By giving the world's poor somewhat easier access to cheaper food, the Green Revolution helped perpetuate the system that created the conditions of exploitation that made these people poor and hungry in the first place". I'm somewhat sympathetic to this view (which I guess earns me my 'far left' card) but I understand that it's fairly impractical and really more interested in moral consistency than practical solutions.

It reminds me of this bit I read in Zizek (yeah, I know) once, where he said that George Soros was the worst person in the world because he spends the first part of his day making money off an unjust economic system and the second part of his day throwing money at people trying to fix the bad effects of that system, and at the end of the day the system is the same. Again, you kind of see the point -- at least I do. But would it be better if Soros just spent his whole day making money and then willed it all to his dog? Is what he's really saying that Zizek is the worst person in the world because he's not authentic?

I think the answer is that postmodernists are just suspicious of technocratic solutions, both because they depoliticize and dehumanize the problems (the world's poor aren't hungry because they're oppressed or because other people are exploiting them, they're hungry because they don't have them food, so let's just give them food) and because they turn systematic problems into discrete ones, which allows them to not address the underlying structures which are causing the problems -- and which the technocrats are often benefiting from.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-08-2009, 08:01 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
[...]
As is so often the case after I read one of your posts, I can only marvel and wish that I'd said that.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-08-2009, 12:42 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 714
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
I think the answer is that postmodernists are just suspicious of technocratic solutions, both because they depoliticize and dehumanize the problems (the world's poor aren't hungry because they're oppressed or because other people are exploiting them, they're hungry because they don't have them food, so let's just give them food) and because they turn systematic problems into discrete ones, which allows them to not address the underlying structures which are causing the problems -- and which the technocrats are often benefiting from.
Right. And my frustration with postmodernism is:
1. I DON'T think the world's poor "are hungry because they are oppressed." I think they ARE hungry simply because they don't have food.
2. I think most problems are discrete, not systematic, and yet systematic approaches get a disproportionate level of attention in leftist thought.
3. I don't think it matters much if you benefit from solving a problem or not, so long as you solve it.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-08-2009, 01:12 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
Right. And my frustration with postmodernism is:
1. I DON'T think the world's poor "are hungry because they are oppressed." I think they ARE hungry simply because they don't have food.
2. I think most problems are discrete, not systematic, and yet systematic approaches get a disproportionate level of attention in leftist thought.
3. I don't think it matters much if you benefit from solving a problem or not, so long as you solve it.
I'm actually on the opposite side of each of your bullets:

1. Can widespread hunger within a population be viewed as cruel, unjust, and burdensome? If so, then it seems to meet at least one definition of "to oppress."

2. If you start elucidating a list of problems, I'd be willing to bet that I, or any of a number of others, could identify a systemic issue at the root of that problem. e.g. - Third World hunger and deprivation. The mere fact that there's such an obvious label that identifies a problem suffered by billions of people suggests a systemic issue, don't you think? And the systems represented by the global economy, particularly as they govern the production, transport, and distribution of food are pretty obvious candidates for blame here.

3. Corruption is always an live issue. Asserting that you're solving a problem and solving a problem are not the same thing.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:51 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 714
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
1. Can widespread hunger within a population be viewed as cruel, unjust, and burdensome? If so, then it seems to meet at least one definition of "to oppress."

2. If you start elucidating a list of problems, I'd be willing to bet that I, or any of a number of others, could identify a systemic issue at the root of that problem....
This is the essence of postmodern logic--"can it be viewed as" is not the same thing as "is it." I see that hunger is one example of a larger category that some might call oppression.* But I do not see that larger category, oppression (a general and abstract term) as the CAUSE of hunger (a general and abstract term).

Instead I see, for example, cartelization and price-fixing in the South Asian sugar and wheat market as the CAUSE of food shortages, and thus hunger, in rural South Asia. [will be writing on this soon] Is cartelization a bundensome and cruel injustice? Maybe. But I don't look at the hunger that way. That is the difference between the postmodernists and me--I'm inclined to see the immediate link as the causal link and to focus on addressing that. And I think if more liberals thought that way, more liberal goals would be met.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
3. Corruption is always an live issue. Asserting that you're solving a problem and solving a problem are not the same thing.
I assume you've heard that line "All squares are rectangles, but all rectangles aren't squares." Corrupt people benefit by pretending to solve problems without solving them. Duh. But the argument I was responding to above suggested that people who A. actually solve the problem AND B. benefit have done something wrong.

If you haven't faked part A., it's not clear to me that there's anything to be concerned about. Unless, as I suspect of some liberals from whom I often hear such concerns, you consider altruistic motive to be as, or more, important than beneficial outcome.

*[Sidenote: oppression to me is deliberate and only certain hunger in certain places has been imposed intentionally--other times it reflects incompetence more than ill will.]
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:55 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Newbridge, NJ
Posts: 2,673
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
That is the difference between the postmodernists and me--I'm inclined to see the immediate link as the causal link and to focus on addressing that. And I think if more liberals thought that way, more liberal goals would be met.
That's a hell of a shortcut.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-08-2009, 06:13 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,606
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by claymisher View Post
That's a hell of a shortcut.
Sometimes, I really like shortcuts, especially when they get the job done.

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-08-2009, 06:41 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
This is the essence of postmodern logic--"can it be viewed as" is not the same thing as "is it." I see that hunger is one example of a larger category that some might call oppression.* But I do not see that larger category, oppression (a general and abstract term) as the CAUSE of hunger (a general and abstract term).

Instead I see, for example, cartelization and price-fixing in the South Asian sugar and wheat market as the CAUSE of food shortages, and thus hunger, in rural South Asia. [will be writing on this soon] Is cartelization a bundensome and cruel injustice? Maybe. But I don't look at the hunger that way. That is the difference between the postmodernists and me--I'm inclined to see the immediate link as the causal link and to focus on addressing that. And I think if more liberals thought that way, more liberal goals would be met.



I assume you've heard that line "All squares are rectangles, but all rectangles aren't squares." Corrupt people benefit by pretending to solve problems without solving them. Duh. But the argument I was responding to above suggested that people who A. actually solve the problem AND B. benefit have done something wrong.

If you haven't faked part A., it's not clear to me that there's anything to be concerned about. Unless, as I suspect of some liberals from whom I often hear such concerns, you consider altruistic motive to be as, or more, important than beneficial outcome.

*[Sidenote: oppression to me is deliberate and only certain hunger in certain places has been imposed intentionally--other times it reflects incompetence more than ill will.]
Clay has a point, I think. You're defining issues out of existence in seemingly arbitrary ways. I think "cartelization and price-fixing in the South Asian sugar and wheat market" may not be deliberately oppressive, but it is directly oppressive. If it represents a specific form of oppression, then I don't see how you can argue that it doesn't conform to the general definition, too. I understand your sidenote, but I don't fully agree; and even to the extent I do agree, I don't think it makes a difference.

It's fine, by the way, to assert that some arbitrary action is an "actual" solution to something; but much of the time, above a certain level of complexity, that's really pretty tendentious. Likewise the assertion of accrued benefit can be pretty controversial. In the absence of standards of absolute measurement, I think you have to weigh the details and the side issues to frame supportable value judgments.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!

Last edited by AemJeff; 12-09-2009 at 02:23 PM.. Reason: typo
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-09-2009, 06:07 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 714
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Clay has a point, I think. You're defining issues out of existence in seemingly arbitrary ways. I think "cartelization and price-fixing in the South Asian sugar and wheat market" may not be deliberately oppressive, but it is directly oppressive. If it represents a specific form of oppression, then I don't see how you can argue that it doesn't conform to the general definition, too. I understand your sidenote, but I don't fully agree; and even to the extent I do agree, I don't think it makes a difference.
My point is, I tend to focus on the specific and immediate cause/link rather than the broader categories within which it exists. This is my approach to life. It is philosophically the opposite of postmodernism. If you're philosophically prone to think at the level of categories, you're probably more like the postmodernists than like me. It's a values/psychology thing. BUT (and this is the point I wanted to make in the DV) I do think my way has one objective merit--it's better at addressing the specific cause/link. And since most public policy is about the specific and immediate, I wish there weren't so many categorical thinkers influenced by postmodern thought in liberal policy circles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
It's fine, by the way, to assert that some arbitrary action is an "actual" solution to something; but much of the time, above a certain level of complexity, that's really pretty tendentious.
That seems to me to suggest that no 'somethings' can ever be solved because all solutions that aren't at a categorical level are just arbitrary actions whose impacts can't be proven. You may not mean this, but most postmodern-esque policy talk seems to mean it and that's what I find so frustrating.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-09-2009, 07:27 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
My point is, I tend to focus on the specific and immediate cause/link rather than the broader categories within which it exists. This is my approach to life. It is philosophically the opposite of postmodernism. If you're philosophically prone to think at the level of categories, you're probably more like the postmodernists than like me. It's a values/psychology thing. BUT (and this is the point I wanted to make in the DV) I do think my way has one objective merit--it's better at addressing the specific cause/link. And since most public policy is about the specific and immediate, I wish there weren't so many categorical thinkers influenced by postmodern thought in liberal policy circles.



That seems to me to suggest that no 'somethings' can ever be solved because all solutions that aren't at a categorical level are just arbitrary actions whose impacts can't be proven. You may not mean this, but most postmodern-esque policy talk seems to mean it and that's what I find so frustrating.
Just two points. Categorical thinking is synonymous with abstract thinking; and I'm not sure how you avoid that with anything above a certain scale.

To your second point: what I conclude is just that solving problems has an unavoidable political component. Things aren't so much arbitrary as they are matters of consensus. (Which isn't to say we should blithely accept the value of consensus solutions; just that that's the process by which such judgments are inevitably going to assigned.)
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-10-2009, 12:31 AM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 714
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Just two points. Categorical thinking is synonymous with abstract thinking; and I'm not sure how you avoid that with anything above a certain scale.
Yes, but I think that scale starts pretty far up. Like say with such policy issues as abortion rights, I accept that abstract and categorical thinking will play a role in the process. But the kind of leftist thought I am railing against brings it to bear at every tier of the scale ladder. I'm rejecting that approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
To your second point: what I conclude is just that solving problems has an unavoidable political component. Things aren't so much arbitrary as they are matters of consensus. (Which isn't to say we should blithely accept the value of consensus solutions; just that that's the process by which such judgments are inevitably going to assigned.)
I understand what you're saying but my concern is that in policymaking circles, time is limited. In a half hour discussion on some particular policy point, the post-modern thinkers in the room spend most of their talking minutes pointing out 'the nature of things' in the way you have just done without giving expression to any non-abstract, discrete, specific policy. So if you suggest a policy to them, they say, 'the nature of this policy, its underlying abstractions, are X, Y and Z." And you say, "hmm, thats interesting and maybe correct, but it doesn't tell me if you vote yay or nay on the policy."

Kez said earlier that this was characteristic just of liberal academe, not liberal policymakers. Sam responded best in the DV when he said the problem is that liberal academe which thinks in this not-conducive-to-policy-making-way has actually managed to impart its vocabulary and frame of reference to policymakers.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-09-2009, 12:13 AM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Great Moravia
Posts: 1,117
Default Not at all tl;dr because I'm tired

Quote:
2. I think most problems are discrete, not systematic, and yet systematic approaches get a disproportionate level of attention in leftist thought.
I sort of disagree with that, but I don't think it's not a reasonable position to take. Let's be fair, though: systematic approaches get a disproportionate level of attention in leftist academia. Mainstream leftist politics, though, not so much. And it sort of makes sense that the academics would be the ones interested in the systematic approaches, because they're more abstract and theoretical, and that's what academics do. Problems of hunger, poverty, etc. are both abstract and systematic, and it seems to me that it's more a matter of temperament which way you're more likely to see them.

Quote:
3. I don't think it matters much if you benefit from solving a problem or not, so long as you solve it.
Oh, I agree. As long as it actually gets solved, and it's not just that you've moved the goalposts.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:01 PM
hamandcheese hamandcheese is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 48
Send a message via Skype™ to hamandcheese
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
"By giving the world's poor somewhat easier access to cheaper food, the Green Revolution helped perpetuate the system that created the conditions of exploitation that made these people poor and hungry in the first place". I'm somewhat sympathetic to this view...
Yet that so called "condition of exploitation" was Indian Fabianism, not the laissez faire or das kapital. This is what I just don't get about this critique. The description of 'giving the poor just enough to keeped them lulled in their perpetual poverty' sounds, to me, less like a liberal economy and more like Venezeula.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pe...50-1995%29.png
Which counties seem the more repressed to you?

Quote:
It reminds me of this bit I read in Zizek
That reminds me of my own pertinent Zizek anecdote, which further reminds me of why I like him so much. In a speech he gave to a hall full of marxists and socialists, besides lambasting them for their often nostaliga based political beliefs (aimed especially at the Chavistas in the room), he criticized the false dichotomy of incrementalism vs. dramatic social upheaval with the analogy of cow castration:

It doesn't matter much whether you cut the scrotum little by little or at one fell swoop, so long as one day the cow looks down and says "holy shit! where have my balls gone?" That is basically my stance as well.

Last edited by hamandcheese; 12-08-2009 at 11:07 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:57 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Great Moravia
Posts: 1,117
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Yet that so called "condition of exploitation" was Indian Fabianism, not the laissez faire or das kapital. This is what I just don't get about this critique. The description of 'giving the poor just enough to keeped them lulled in their perpetual poverty' sounds, to me, less like a liberal economy and more like Venezeula.
I wasn't really suggesting "the capitalist system" when I said the word "system", I was just suggesting whatever system it was that the US wanted to keep in place and make sure wasn't overthrown by Communists. The idea that the elites are keeping the population's desires/needs satisfied by throwing them little carrots so that they can tolerate the big stick can be applied to basically any situation and (in my opinion) is really just a cynical way of looking at social contracts, just or not. You could certainly say it about Venezuela. I was thinking about the eastern bloc during the 70s and 80s, where the social contract was essentially "We'll provide you with employment, housing, a certain amount of consumer goods, and relative social stability as long as you can deal with bureaucratic hassle, corruption, shortages, and you don't openly criticize the ridiculous old men who are running your country." You could characterize the US social contract as "We'll provide you with the opportunity to make a lot of money as long as you don't mind working all the damn time and having nothing to fall back on if it doesn't work out so well and you're not rich to begin with." Both of these characterizations are a gross oversimplification and don't have a lot to do with the way people actually navigate/navigated society, which is also what I think about the impression I got from the Nation article.

ETA: Oh right, Zizek. He certainly is good for an anecdote, although after the fifth little tale with the philosophical/absurd punchline, you want to throw the book across the room. I was afraid someone would bring up the New Republic criticism of Zizek that came out last year, which I thought was fairly annoying, although I also think Zizek is annoying, basically because of things like the George Soros bit I mentioned.

Last edited by kezboard; 12-09-2009 at 12:03 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 12-09-2009, 04:55 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 408
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamandcheese View Post
he criticized the false dichotomy of incrementalism vs. dramatic social upheaval with the analogy of cow castration:

It doesn't matter much whether you cut the scrotum little by little or at one fell swoop, so long as one day the cow looks down and says "holy shit! where have my balls gone?" That is basically my stance as well.
Hmmm. You actually can't castrate a bull that way, so if Zizek was trying to say, 'be realistic!', with this metaphor, he missed his mark.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 12-09-2009, 05:10 PM
SkepticDoc SkepticDoc is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Argleton
Posts: 1,168
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

It is hard to beat Mike Rowe's story...

This link may work better:

http://fora.tv/2008/12/12/Mike_Rowe_...amb_Castration

Last edited by SkepticDoc; 12-09-2009 at 05:17 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 12-10-2009, 04:55 AM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Great Moravia
Posts: 1,117
Default Re: postmodern tl;dr

Do you think Zizek's ever seen a bull being castrated? Do they have a lot of bulls in Slovenia? One would assume so, being all Alpine and mountainous and everything.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 12-07-2009, 07:54 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
Deactivated User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Busan, South Korea (ROK)
Posts: 1,690
Send a message via Skype™ to Baltimoron
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by osmium View Post
...There is more to "postmodernism" than relativity between the life of a human and a life of a tree. Obviously I think that is cracked. But some of what is considered postmodernism amounts to, for example, explaining the way the world becomes self-referential when communication becomes very rapid and very global. I.e. simulation, fake authenticity, etc. I think those things have worth and should be thought about. Not everything called postmodernism is nuts--the word is too big, encompasses too many ideas.
Actually, my introduction to postmodern literature came through Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy in a postmodern Lit seminar. I'm not sure of how the Venn diagrams work - new novel, Freudian et al - but my first and enduring association with "postmodern" because of Robbe-Grillet is a painstaking empirical approach. How many banana trees? That spot on the wall? Honestly, I thought "postmodern" was another word for "pain in the ass"! The rest of this ideological baggage never convinced me that postmodern was as big a problem as its critics said it was.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 12-09-2009, 01:27 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: new yorkistan
Posts: 708
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
Actually, my introduction to postmodern literature came through Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy in a postmodern Lit seminar. I'm not sure of how the Venn diagrams work - new novel, Freudian et al - but my first and enduring association with "postmodern" because of Robbe-Grillet is a painstaking empirical approach. How many banana trees? That spot on the wall? Honestly, I thought "postmodern" was another word for "pain in the ass"! The rest of this ideological baggage never convinced me that postmodern was as big a problem as its critics said it was.
Cool, I have never heard of it, I think. Perhaps I will read it. Pain in the ass sounds like an endorsement.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 12-07-2009, 08:14 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

I wish I could say something meaningful about this diavlog, but I'm still trying to process the first ten seconds: hamandcheese is a high school student...


I'm ready for retirement.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 12-07-2009, 09:24 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I wish I could say something meaningful about this diavlog, but I'm still trying to process the first ten seconds: hamandcheese is a high school student...


I'm ready for retirement.
Heh. I was just about to post: "I wish I could have been half that articulate and a quarter that politically aware back when I was his age."
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 12-07-2009, 09:38 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Heh. I was just about to post: "I wish I could have been half that articulate and a quarter that politically aware back when I was his age."
I was wondering if I was the only one having that reaction.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:33 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
Deactivated User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Busan, South Korea (ROK)
Posts: 1,690
Send a message via Skype™ to Baltimoron
Default Beware the Sith

OTOH, the burden of all that ability rests firmly in his young shoulders for that much longer. Just kidding! As Darth Vader said, "Impressive!"
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:35 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

We gave an environmental award to a 13-year-old in my town for his work on Global Warming. He came up to my shoulder. When he came back the next year to present the award to the next recipient, he was a head taller than me. He'd also met Al Gore. Now he's in 15 and in Copenhagen.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:40 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
We gave an environmental award to a 13-year-old in my town for his work on Global Warming. He came up to my shoulder. When he came back the next year to present the award to the next recipient, he was a head taller than me. He'd also met Al Gore. Now he's in 15 and in Copenhagen.
I'm still thinking about retirement... as soon as I stop crying...



PS: like Baltimoron said "Impressive."
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:14 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
Deactivated User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Busan, South Korea (ROK)
Posts: 1,690
Send a message via Skype™ to Baltimoron
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

OK, we've passed the line between lauding hamandcheese and making ourselves feel irreparably - oh, gawd - OLD! Vreak out the aspirin and Sportscreme!
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:29 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Exiled to South Jersey
Posts: 2,436
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Agreed. If this forum were to institute some kind of "absurdly precocious award" or something, i believe we'd have our winner right here.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:08 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 459
Default Re: Do the philosophical roots of the New Left hamper the enactment of environmental policy?

Impressive conversation. A pity that the time limit cut short the solutions part of the diavlog.

During the "shallow economy" portion of the conversation, when the topics of climate change's disproportionate effect on poorer regions and of institutions came up, I couldn't help but think of this (slightly tangential) analogy drawn from the common law tort system: In American courts, where a nontrivial amount of environmental policy is still made, many tragedy-of-the-commons-type environmental questions sound in nuisance law, which asks courts to balance the social utility of a harmful activity with the damage it causes to others. One of the first questions for the court, and one that implicates nearly every aspect of the case, is the remedy to be granted: injunction (ordering the polluter to stop) or damages (ordering the polluter to pay for the harm they cause). Under the influence of law-and-economics scholars such as Ronald Coase, courts have been reluctant in many circumstances to grant injunctive relief, and where they do grant it, the grant is specifically aimed at getting the parties to negotiate a price for lifting the injunction. The theory behind this is that there may be many cases in which it is more "efficient" to produce something of value, pollute in the process, and then compensate for the damage that pollutant causes, than to simply refrain from the harmful activity entirely. This has the secondary effect of helping to balance social utilities, because the requirement of paying compensation will cause less useful polluting activities to become economically unfeasible.

It seems to me that much of current environmental thinking, especially in the international realm, has focused on finding an injunctive-like solution, which seeks to limit emissions in terms of raw number, rather than a compensatory-like solution, which would seek to limit wasteful emissions and redress the inequitable effect of fossil fuel externalities, and that this has disproportionately hurt nations like those in the Indian Ocean and other poorer nations which will necessarily feel significant economic effects of the greenhouse emissions that remain inevitable for many years to come under any system.
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.