File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0108, message 30

Date: Sun, 05 Aug 2001 19:44:48 +0100
Subject: Re: An Idea whose time will never come

> Eric/all

To reply to the below question;

> I don't see why ethical paralogy necessarily limits one to a politics of
> liberalism. What criteria do you propose as necessary?  Do you see it as
> determinative?

Difficult to answer this - but a couple of points spring to mind there is no
evidence that a political engagement from such a perspective has any
possibility of advancing beyond the nihalism of the libidinal economy or the
harshness of the politics of the differend.  If understood from the
perspective of the differend it often seems that the philosophy of language,
genres and differends leads  to the political aim of enabling a voice to be
given to one or other side of the differend. In the case of Auschwitz this
is an ahistorical disaster movie of the first order - Lyotard
underestimates the power of the resources historians can unleash in relation
to historical evidence. Lyotard sees holocaust denial as a blanket denial of
history and the disciplines procedures rather than a political and social
position. The denial of the credibility of evidence as collected by
historians associated with a notion of rationalist authenticity, places this
differend in the place of a last attempt at defying rationality, rather than
justifying a differend supporting pluralism... The underlying supporting
element for this is the moral equivilance of discourses - because there is
nothing available which denies this - excepting of course the feeling of the
sublime - is this sufficient? The politics of liberalism is founded in its
contemporary forms on pluralism.

> My question to you to this. Given the limitations of identity/difference
> ethics/politics, what is the new move you see N&H as making?  Do you
> consider this a more valid and fruitful approach?

An analysis of the social founded on the construcution of a new political
subject, read section 4.3. The political subject they are suggesting is
simply another variant of the revolutionary subject (proletarian) derived
from Marx and Hegel. The implicit refusal of the postmodern 'end of
history', the end of the grand narrative of human liberation is interesting
- mostly because of the nerve it has hit - quiescence is once again over.

> Nobody told the Arabs anyway... (see Thesinger and the recent Minority
> reports)

The abolitionists were strictly speaking a western group - in vast areas of
the world slavery has remained in place long after it had been eradicated in
the North. Thesinger discusses the position of slaves in Arabia in the mid
20th C, the Minority Rights Group produced a number of reports discussing
the position of slaves in the south.


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005