File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2004/bourdieu.0401, message 61

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 23:52:45 -0800
Subject: Re: [BOU:] l'affaire du foulard

Well, after a rocky start, I'm beginning to like you a lot better.  
Bourdieu is interesting, but I would have never been able to figure him 
out on my own. There is a professor who teaches graduate seminars (whose 
name I will not mention) within a reasonable driving distance of me, and 
I've read Distinction, Homo Academicus, and Pascalian Meditations  in 
his various seminars.  Again, I don't think I would have ever figured 
out any of this without his help. Yes, Bourdieu thought sociology (his 
sociology in particular) was supplanting philosophy. I don't agree, yet 
I would never have had a chance successfully arguing this point against 
him. My main influence was Richard McKeon at the U of Chicago on the 
early 1970s (McK retired at age 74 just before Robert Pirsig's book, in 
which he was the "chairman" character, was published). Paul Ricoeur was 
also a major influence on me, but not nearly so much as McKeon's and his 
"radical pluralism" as I call it. Along with Jacques Maritain, McKeon 
was one of the principal architects of the Universal Declaration of 
Human Rights.

   In exposing Rand, I'm finding, I'm exposing a lot more than just 
Rand, but also an entire series of popular myths that capitalists have 
been propagating a long time. One is that in order to have human freedom 
in general, you need to have unrestricted commerce. Another is that a 
"free exchange" is always a fair exchange.  And there is one very 
interesting thing about the life of Ayn Rand herself. Her entire life 
clearly shows the fundamental flaw of her brand of extreme selfishness: 
that it ultimately leads to the destruction of the the self--- Rand died 
a very lonely and unhappy woman. As evidence that this principle applies 
to corporations as well, I point to the present day cattle industry in 
the united states. In going to extremes in maximizing its profit 
(feeding the remains of sick animals to healthy animals), it was sowing 
the seeds for what might well prove to be its complete demise (see for details on this rapidly escalating crisis. No only 
have several countries stopped purchasing US Beef, when the truth 
finally gets out, Americans are probably not going to want to touch the 
stuff either. America, a nation of vegans? Time will tell).

john.kaman wrote:

>Anybody who is at work exposing Ayn Rand can't be all bad.  It is indeed too
>unfortunate that so many of us are unemployed or underemployed but at least
>your situation permits you time for this important work.  I joined the list
>out of curiosity about Bourdieu, am an adjunct professor, which means I get
>paid by the class I teach, don't have tenure and will never get it working
>in France and am not by training a sociologist which explains my many
>mistakes (at least as perceived by the list).  Nonetheless Bourdieu said his
>work was for everybody, not just those within his discipline, so any
>critical or perspective skill should be useful here.
>As far as English goes, I am violently opposed to jargon that obscures
>thought which gave rise to the comment I made.  I suspect that there are
>many candidats for remedial English on this list, native speakers as well.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-bourdieu-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>[mailto:owner-bourdieu-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU]On Behalf Of Patrick
>Sent: mardi 6 janvier 2004 06:02
>To: bourdieu-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>Subject: Re: [BOU:] l'affaire du foulard
>john.kaman wrote:
>>As I say, if you really believein what you say congratulations.  Most
>>no longer believe in anything.  Now get out of academia and do something
>>about it.  Bourdieu did and he praised others who followed his example.  So
>>let's crack that cocoon and get moving.
>Well, maybe you do have "kinder, gentler" side after all. As for me, I
>do not now and never have held a position in academia. I'm an unemployed
>electrical engineer (I have too little tolerance for corruption to be
>considered employable by most large engineering organizations).  In my
>free time, I work on my book debunking Rush Limbaugh's favorite author,
>Ayn Rand.  (I don't know whether I'll ever find a publisher, but I've
>had great fun in writing it. My intention was for it to not only expose
>Rand for the fraud,  plagiarist, and general bundle of contradictions
>she was, but to be a lot of fun to read as well. For example, Rand was
>fond for coming up with names for supposed fallacies on her own, such as
>"the fallacy of the stolen concept." In this spirit, I accuse her of
>committing the "fallacy of the ditched premise" throughout her work).  I
>also take music theory and composition courses at my local community
>college. I only started at this a year ago, but I'm now beginning to
>enjoy  writing fugues a great deal.



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