Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Addendum to the post before last. [here]
What's really offensive about Brighouse is that he shares his premisses with Thatcher, but he takes them in the opposite direction. She once famously said "there's no such thing as society" and Brighouse would agree, but add that therefore government is all there is to bring moral order to anarchy: outside of written law all is chaos. His reference to a common understanding of the conflict "between the family and equality" reminds me again that academics are now technically expert at manipulating preconceived notions, but willfully devoid of imagination.

If Brighouse would look again at social life itself instead of Rawls' or whomever else's books, he would notice that the conflict is not between family and equality but between obligation to family, obligation to community and beyond that, obligation codified in law to the state. He begins by collapsing family and the individual and then eliminates community altogether.

Brighouse' is the socialism as idea of bookish Public School boys in a country of yobs, which has nothing at all to do with the socialism as fact of Scandinavian moral imperatives commanded first not by law and the state but by opinions and the people at large. The moral/linguistic structure in which Brighouse operates is a direct product of the British class system; and unwilling or unable as he is to contextualize the perceptual roots of his logical fantasies he's clueless. I can't begin to describe how stupid this is. And all in all as far as the British Isles are concerned, if not Stockholm, I'm with the yobs.

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