File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0309, message 29

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 23:22:40 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: FWD: Job Opportunity: Agent-Publicist-Fundraiser and  Business Manage...

A lively thread, at any rate! A few further comments.

1. To those who thought it was a hoax:  while I'm in no way an official 
spokesperson, to the best of my knowledge (which I think is fair), it's 
not. I don't really know, but I would think the ad was probably approved 
by Bhaskar, though not necessarily in the finer details.

2. I very much agree with Guenter that honesty is important, but I don't 
find the ad dishonest. It's central message is that Bhaskar is 
'committed to spreading peace, love and enlightenment through his 
profound understanding of the philosophy of science and human freedom'. 
IMO, he really does think that the times are fast approaching in which 
either 'US New Agers' (etc) can indeed be persuaded to 'drop their 
shrinks and gurus and engage in collective emancipation', or the human 
species will encounter its quietus. It's not 'a clever way of making 
lots of dollars'--he thinks that far-reaching social change is 
imperative now, and that we may well be approaching a historic window of 
opportunity for it. I agree. (The hype re the number of Bhaskar listers 
has been around for a while, but growing like Topsy, and really should 
be checked and corrected by those responsible for publishing it--in this 
case an Indian newspaper.)

3. This relates to the point made by Mike, who complains that 'oppressed 
people' (and various named categories thereof) don't rate. But of course 
they're embraced by the concept of 'human freedom'. Where Bhaskar would 
part company with Mike's implied position is that he thinks (with Hegel, 
Marx etc) that the oppressors are oppressed too and in need of 
emancipation. The minimal necessary unit for human freedom (for the kind 
of reasons D J Bailey spelt out) is the whole of humanity. We can't 
expect the 'working class' to usher in the good society for us--this is 
substitutionism; we're all responsible. Very true. This is what 
'self-realization' fundamentally means.

4. Gareth's point re constructing emergent communities and prising apart 
the issues of fund-raising and audiences is nonetheless very well taken. 
I can only say here that IMO Bhaskar's whole dialectics of freedom 
envisage and call for a complex process of struggle and learning whereby 
such communities are constructed, and one engages where one can. (I 
doubt though whether the distinction between academic and itinerant 
salesmen is as sharp as Gareth implies. For the record, Bhaskar has I 
understand just accepted a 12 months' senior academic posting at 
Uppsala; but for most of his career he has freelanced.)

5. Oh, and there's Tim's point about fighting fascism. There's nothing I 
know of anywhere in Bhaskar's philosophy that indicates pacifism. On the 
contrary: the message here is aim straight and don't wobble. (Peace, 
love, creativity etc are not here or elsewhere qualities of our acts --- 
nor are they goals as such --- but fundamental human motives (which is 
what I take Bhaskar to mean by 'ground-state qualities' -- sorry if this 
concept gives you the heebie jeebies, Tim, but I did find your post very 
funny). When we're in a non-alienated state we just do them most of the 
time, otherwise we lose them; but first we've got to get there).


 >, Richard Moodey <> writes
>Hi Marsh,
>That was my first impression, too.  "Ram Roy"?
>At 09:32 AM 09/16/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>>Come-on, surely the job posting was a joke. Even if he were truly going in
>>this direction, the specific rhetoric is so distant from his most devoted
>>audience and so reminiscent of new age scam artists (L. Ron Bhaskar?) that I
>>can't imagine we're taking this so seriously.
>>         Marsh Feldman
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: owner-bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>> > [mailto:owner-bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU]On Behalf Of
>> >
>> > Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 7:13 AM
>> > To: bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>> > Subject: Re: BHA: FWD: Job Opportunity: Agent-Publicist-Fundraiser and
>> > Business Manage...
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > If this job opportunity is for real, I have to add my voice to
>> > those who are
>> > disturbed by it.....
>> >
>> > "Also, if anyone may want to bring Ram Roy to their campus, place
>> > of worship
>> > or other spiritual organization, self-improvement or business forum,
>> > scientific or technical organization or some other kind of institution or
>> > arena for him to speak and receive a fee or an honorarium, please
>> > also get
>> > in touch with us. We will try to schedule him to accommodate those who
>> > would like to hear him speak at their localities, but Ram Roy
>> > must be paid
>> > for these appearances and his expenses must be covered in order for  his
>> > work to continue."
>> >
>> > There is no reference in the list of organizations above to the following:
>> >
>> > labor unions
>> > environmental groups
>> > feminist organizations
>> > people of color
>> > radical political organizations
>> > oppressed people
>> >
>> > Well, you get my drift...I thought Bhaskar was still claiming to
>> > be working
>> > toward an emancipatory society. But for whom?
>> >
>> > Mike Slott
>> >
>> >
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