File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 160


Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 10:04:57 +0000
Subject: Re: terms - libertarian




Eric

The definition of libertarian as defined below is closer to the first 
definition that the second.  I do not have any issue with the kind of 
communism that Negri espouses - why should I ? - broadly speaking I am 
in agreement with the positions and politics that the contemporary left 
engages in. But it is not me who endlessly confuses the term 
'libertarian' with its affinity to reactionary positions. If you wish to 
define contemporary left politics within the phrase 'libertarian 
leftism' then assuming that this is understood within our common 
framework - as sketched out below that's completely acceptable.

The issue with MacLeod as socio-political theorist (snigger) is surely 
that he precisely does not address the contempoary social and political 
issue, namely - that we are emerging from 25 years of the dominance of a 
neo-liberal counter-reformation. In which the social struggles often 
seemed to understood between proponents of liberal democracy and 
'libetarianism' as understood in its crassest anti-statist (version 2). 
To not be suspicious of a term that has been used throughout the period 
in the latter form is .... Actually I'd recommend the recent novels of 
Courtney-Grimes (Effendi) as attempting to address the issues of the 
contemporary period in a more interesting way.

As for the 'Cyborg' we've discussed this endlessly since 2001 and 
nothing that anyone has said here, let alone the texts of Haraway, 
Moravec or Gray has persueded me of the validity of the term as being 
valid scientifically or in engineering terms let alone philosophically - 
essentially (if I'm allowed to use this terrible word) it runs straight 
through the philosopher and into the engineer, running into the 
empirical and rationalist engineer it shatters into a million pieces. 
For example  when Ventor (the team leader of the commercial group, 
rather than the public group who produced the mapping of the Human 
Genome) says that Genetic engineering will be inventing new organisms 
over the next 50 years... This won't happen and indeed may never happen 
- it's simple financially orientated  hyperbole - ( not that I blame him 
for saying so - most engineers and philosophers have exagerated (our) 
project scopes and claims at some time in an attempt to gain kudos and 
finance ) - but I would question the judgement of those who believe that 
the success or failure of such a foolish scientific claim changes what 
constitutes a human or non-human being... Does this mean that I am 
against 'Cyborgs' and related technological experiments in Genetics and 
so on,  in actuality I am not, it is just that the hyperbole that 
accompanies such is not believable and should not be believed.

And of course Macleod just assumes, as you can in a novel that the 
technology works... a philosopher/engineer cannot or at least should not 
make such an assumption.

My daughter argues that the cyborg paradigm will end with the collapse 
of the counter-reformation interesting logic connection neo-liberalism 
with the cyborg...

have to go...

 regards
steve


Eric wrote:

> Steve,
>
>  
>
> Just a few points to put things in perspective.
>
>  
>
>    1. I have only read a few McLeod novels so far, but he is Scottish
>       and seems to clearly understand the differences between
>       libertarian and neo-liberal.  So I'm not convinced this is
>       necessarily a continental difference. 
>    2. Have you seen the movie "Before Night Falls?"  Reinaldo Arenas
>       was a gay Cuban who was ostracized in Castro's socialist Cuba
>       for the crime of being gay. One of the issues raised by
>       libertarian leftism is how can we created a more equalitarian
>       society in which individuals are not trampled over in the name
>       of collectivism.  Certainly, for all its faults, the progressive
>       politics of the past twenty years has raised some issues that
>       shouldn't be abandoned.    
>    3. Traditionally, the project of socialism has been to create a
>       worker's state in which there is full employment for all.  Many
>       have argued from a more libertarian perspective, including Negri
>       and Hardt in Empire, that this misses the point. The job economy
>       is a historical structure that is now being undermined by
>       technological development. The real goal should be to end to
>       coercion that forces people to work merely in order to survive. 
>       It is possible to envision a society in which other arrangements
>       than that of the job economy would be possible.  This does not
>       mean the end of work, either paid or unpaid.  It does entail a
>       different kind of structure, however, that is very different
>       from the old models offered by traditional socialism or
>       capitalism. For me, libertarian leftist means thinking about
>       these issues in a new way, one that is more relevant to our future.
>
>  
>
> Obviously, with the world on the brink, we have more immediate 
> concerns, but simply agitating against the war is not enough, 
> important as that is.  It seems clear that we must begin to link the 
> issues of peace with the issues raised by the so-called 
> 'anti-globalism' movement - the globalism from below movement.  At 
> some point we must begin thinking about what kind of world we should 
> realize to replace the neo-liberal one we currently have. 
>
>  
>
> You need to be more specific about the kind of system you are 
> advocating.  Do you see it as merely collectivist? 
>
>  
>
> The cyborg is not merely a conceptual construct.  It is also not 
> merely about liberating ourselves through technology, a la Wired 
> magazine.  It does, however, suggest more libertarian possibilities in 
> a different kind of world.  
>
>  
>
> Macleod doesn't seem to have the problems you do about cyborgs.  You 
> said in previous you have read McLeod and liked him.  Don't you see 
> that he is making similar arguments in his novels to the kind Shawn is 
> making?  
>
>  
>
> Do you disagree with this interpretation of McLeod or just disagree 
> with what McLeod says as well?
>
>  
>
> Eric
>
>  
>
>  
>
>  
>


HTML VERSION:

Eric

The definition of libertarian as defined below is closer to the first definition that the second.  I do not have any issue with the kind of communism that Negri espouses - why should I ? - broadly speaking I am in agreement with the positions and politics that the contemporary left engages in. But it is not me who endlessly confuses the term 'libertarian' with its affinity to reactionary positions. If you wish to define contemporary left politics within the phrase 'libertarian leftism' then assuming that this is understood within our common framework - as sketched out below that's completely acceptable.

The issue with MacLeod as socio-political theorist (snigger) is surely that he precisely does not address the contempoary social and political issue, namely - that we are emerging from 25 years of the dominance of a neo-liberal counter-reformation. In which the social struggles often seemed to understood between proponents of liberal democracy and 'libetarianism' as understood in its crassest anti-statist (version 2). To not be suspicious of a term that has been used throughout the period in the latter form is .... Actually I'd recommend the recent novels of Courtney-Grimes (Effendi) as attempting to address the issues of the contemporary period in a more interesting way.

As for the 'Cyborg' we've discussed this endlessly since 2001 and nothing that anyone has said here, let alone the texts of Haraway, Moravec or Gray has persueded me of the validity of the term as being valid scientifically or in engineering terms let alone philosophically - essentially (if I'm allowed to use this terrible word) it runs straight through the philosopher and into the engineer, running into the empirical and rationalist engineer it shatters into a million pieces. For example  when Ventor (the team leader of the commercial group, rather than the public group who produced the mapping of the Human Genome) says that Genetic engineering will be inventing new organisms over the next 50 years... This won't happen and indeed may never happen - it's simple financially orientated  hyperbole - ( not that I blame him for saying so - most engineers and philosophers have exagerated (our) project scopes and claims at some time in an attempt to gain kudos and finance ) - but I would question the judgement of those who believe that the success or failure of such a foolish scientific claim changes what constitutes a human or non-human being... Does this mean that I am against 'Cyborgs' and related technological experiments in Genetics and so on,  in actuality I am not, it is just that the hyperbole that accompanies such is not believable and should not be believed.

And of course Macleod just assumes, as you can in a novel that the technology works... a philosopher/engineer cannot or at least should not make such an assumption.

My daughter argues that the cyborg paradigm will end with the collapse of the counter-reformation interesting logic connection neo-liberalism with the cyborg...

have to go...

 regards
steve


Eric wrote:

Steve,

 

Just a few points to put things in perspective.

 

  1. I have only read a few McLeod novels so far, but he is Scottish and seems to clearly understand the differences between libertarian and neo-liberal.  So I’m not convinced this is necessarily a continental difference. 
  2. Have you seen the movie “Before Night Falls?”  Reinaldo Arenas was a gay Cuban who was ostracized in Castro’s socialist Cuba for the crime of being gay. One of the issues raised by libertarian leftism is how can we created a more equalitarian society in which individuals are not trampled over in the name of collectivism.  Certainly, for all its faults, the progressive politics of the past twenty years has raised some issues that shouldn’t be abandoned.    
  3. Traditionally, the project of socialism has been to create a worker’s state in which there is full employment for all.  Many have argued from a more libertarian perspective, including Negri and Hardt in Empire, that this misses the point. The job economy is a historical structure that is now being undermined by technological development. The real goal should be to end to coercion that forces people to work merely in order to survive.  It is possible to envision a society in which other arrangements than that of the job economy would be possible.  This does not mean the end of work, either paid or unpaid.  It does entail a different kind of structure, however, that is very different from the old models offered by traditional socialism or capitalism. For me, libertarian leftist means thinking about these issues in a new way, one that is more relevant to our future.

 

Obviously, with the world on the brink, we have more immediate concerns, but simply agitating against the war is not enough, important as that is.  It seems clear that we must begin to link the issues of peace with the issues raised by the so-called ‘anti-globalism’ movement – the globalism from below movement.  At some point we must begin thinking about what kind of world we should realize to replace the neo-liberal one we currently have. 

 

You need to be more specific about the kind of system you are advocating.  Do you see it as merely collectivist? 

 

The cyborg is not merely a conceptual construct.  It is also not merely about liberating ourselves through technology, a la Wired magazine.  It does, however, suggest more libertarian possibilities in a different kind of world.  

 

Macleod doesn’t seem to have the problems you do about cyborgs.  You said in previous you have read McLeod and liked him.  Don’t you see that he is making similar arguments in his novels to the kind Shawn is making?  

 

Do you disagree with this interpretation of McLeod or just disagree with what McLeod says as well?

 

Eric

 

 

 



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