File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 162


Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 18:42:27 +0000
Subject: Re: terms - libertarian




Eric/All

Eric


just to add - I've read a couple of things by Reinaldo Arenas, and never 
particularly rated them that much, but avoided the movie for the same 
reasons I'm avoiding the Frida Kahloo films.

However in the specificity of the Arenas case I'd have been happier if 
he'd addressed the issue of the oppression of homosexuals in tandem with 
the lower infant mortality rate in Cuba than in Washington DC.  (But 
then this may be an issue specifically related to the movie than the 
original text). The implications are that in some sense or other that 
the homophobia is specifically related to  contemporary Cuban society, 
post-Castro of course. This is simply ahistorical nonsense and related 
to the social-political strand that runs through Arenas work from 
Hallucinations and Celestina... onwards. So then given the imperfections 
of all these local societies -why the linking of Gay oppression linked 
to Cuba (in this instance) and collectivism rather than to the actual 
complexity of the societies socio-sexual history? Sorry to turn this 
around but it struck me that the question raised of "individuals 
trampled over in the name of collectivism" seems like one of those 
issues which is often raised as more meaningful than it is given the 
amount of people being "trampled over in the name of individualism and 
libertarianism"

regards
stee

steve.devos wrote:

> 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/All

Eric

just to add - I've read a couple of things by Reinaldo Arenas, and never particularly rated them that much, but avoided the movie for the same reasons I'm avoiding the Frida Kahloo films.

However in the specificity of the Arenas case I'd have been happier if he'd addressed the issue of the oppression of homosexuals in tandem with the lower infant mortality rate in Cuba than in Washington DC.  (But then this may be an issue specifically related to the movie than the original text). The implications are that in some sense or other that the homophobia is specifically related to  contemporary Cuban society, post-Castro of course. This is simply ahistorical nonsense and related to the social-political strand that runs through Arenas work from Hallucinations and Celestina... onwards. So then given the imperfections of all these local societies -why the linking of Gay oppression linked to Cuba (in this instance) and collectivism rather than to the actual complexity of the societies socio-sexual history? Sorry to turn this around but it struck me that the question raised of "individuals trampled over in the name of collectivism" seems like one of those issues which is often raised as more meaningful than it is given the amount of people being "trampled over in the name of individualism and libertarianism"

regards
stee

steve.devos wrote:
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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