File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 93


Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 22:42:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Ethics



Eric,

Dietzgen writes about one "who owes no allegiance to any law whatever from the 
moment that it contravenes his needs."  I am intrigued by a couple permutations 
this bit of text generates concerning ethics:

"Owing," for example, suggests a need to re-payment of  a debt.  Does being 
born an America citizen, for example, constitute a fundamental debt to 
democracy?

"No allegiance," too, suggests, perhaps, that there is a prior allegiance, an 
allegiance that might be "reasonably" counted on, provided that ones needs are 
met.

One does not owe allegiance to "any law whatever."  What is with "whatever," 
tho'?  What if "whatever" were cut from the fragment: "one who owes no 
allegiance to any law from the moment that it contravenes his needs."

What if the fragment were reversed: "one owes allegiance to WHATEVER law from 
the moment that it MEETS his needs"?  

Is this defensible?  And how would it be different from the defense/refusal of 
the first example?        

Keepin' it rollin',

Geof

Quoting Eric <ericandmary-AT-earthlink.net>:

> In my ongoing project of reading Macleod's novels in the order they were
> published, I am finally up to "The Cassini Division." The book starts
> out with a quote from Joseph Dietzgen which seems strangely relevant to
> the current ethical discussion:
>  
> "Man is a living personality, whose welfare and purpose is embodied
> within himself, who has between himself and the world nothing but his
> needs as a mediator, who owes no allegiance to any law whatever from the
> moment that it contravenes his needs.  The moral duty of an individual
> never exceeds his interests.  The only thing which exceeds those
> interests is the material power of the generality over the
> individuality."
>  
> What do you think about this statement? Is it defensible?
>  
> eric
>  
> 




   

Driftline Main Page

 

Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005