Sunday, August 08, 2004

Sebald's On the Natural History of Destruction, and now Grass' Crabwalk. I'm surprised the latter didn't cause more of a stir, in Germany at least. But perhaps they've given up. The ending prediction of the future of fascism surprised me; I was expecting something more subtle. "It doesn't end. Never will it end" seems to apply not to the world but to Germany. The last section has one of the best attacks on the passivity of liberalism and technocracy I've ever read.

Many people don't understand the very practical logic behind the principle of freedom of speech (I'm referring here to those who generally defend it.) I don't think Ophelia Benson understands it, and the same holds for Brian Leiter and the folks at Crooked Timber. One of the most important side effects of free speech is that it limits, or dilutes, the power and authority of experts. Freedom of speech ensures among other things the vulgarity of speech. The annoyance of some of the members of CT at Michael Moore for his simplistic arguments is similar to Al Gore's reaction during the fiasco in Florida: a sense of reasoned and reasonable superiority to the muck. But as I've said before there's a reason we have juries decide most cases and not judges, judges who are supposed to be expert and impartial. And there's a reason for our system to say lawyers must be unreasonable and biased.

Against the primacy of ideas, but unwilling to accept the primacy of process
More later.

"It doesn't end. Never will it end". From 15 years before and almost 20 years later. I don't know.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment moderation is enabled.