File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1999/bhaskar.9904, message 29


Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 16:25:18 +1000
Subject: Re: BHA:International law a subset of critical morality (DP


Fools rush in I suppose,

But I have to say I fully support Carrol Cox's statement on the NATO
bombing.  It is an act of total barbarity.

Now let me suggest a few Critical Realist motifs to help us analyze the
situation.  For me the key is the notion of dialectical counterparts -
elements which are in mutual support while appearing to be in opposition.
Clinton/NATO and Milosivic/Saddam are for me perfect instances of this
process.  The one needs the other. Thus, while appearing to be mortal
enemies, they actually share and depend on a common ground or assumption.

I have written to the list before how in Cultural Studies for instance key
counterparts like the Bakhtinian carnival and the cultural and political
dominant actually share the TINA assumption that the existing political
order can  be resisted but never transformed. A similar analysis could be
made for the figure of the Campy Queen in Gay Studies I would argue.

But what is the precise nature of the common ground of the NATO/Milosivic
counterparts?  It is this that as philosophers we could usefully attempt to
delineate. My first stab at this would be that NATO and the Serbian
leadership clique both share very undemocratic and elitist notions about
society.  Their contempt for the democratic rights of ordinary people is
gross & palpable.

Now I would suggest that a Critical Realist would offer as an alternative
to NATO's 'New World Order'- a vision of the eudemonistic society.  A
society where humanity flourishes, where the freedom of everyone depends on
the freedom of the individual.  That should give us I would also suggest
the means for condemning both parties in this conflict.  Ethnic cleansing
to boost one's power is unspeakable.  So is saturation bombing which is
also designed to boost power and privilege.


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