Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Another repeat, rediscovered by accident.
Simon Blackburn, Quasi-realism, and real politics.
...I'm not arguing with Blackburn, but he's doing no more than scoring academic points. He'll never get to politics, even the social politics of daily life. Every lawyer argues cases from the position of quasi realism: his obligation is to his client. But every lawyer has an opponent in argument. "Research", the terminology of science applied to social life (and debate is social life) remains perspectival even at its best. For my purposes it doesn't matter if the authors are being disingenuous or if their myopia is the result of ideological formalism. It doesn't matter if they're cynics or fiddlers. Blackburn is a fiddler, that's what interests me here.
The politics of mathematics and formal logic, of the functionalism of tools, is anti-politics. The politics of Truth is anti-politics.

Interesting that Zizek and Badiou, [see yesterday] an Eastern European former dissident and a Western European ex-Maoist, are arguing the importance of aspiration, of hope, the desire to be better than mostly we are, while Western left-liberals, now "left-neoliberals" (including those calling themselves socialists) are arguing for the creation of systems of control that limit our capacity for self-harm. It seemed clear to me that Badiou has returned to the Church, or maybe he never left. The choice is between the rationalism of engaged hope and the rationalism of individualism and cold moral reason (and moral seriousness is not moral responsibility). The secularist empiricism of language and experience is the third option that's ignored.

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