Thursday, December 26, 2013

Moretti has become Bourdieu as parody: from the sociologist as data scientist of culture, to the librarian as scientist of filing systems. The rise of anti-humanism is the return of the moralizing petit bourgeois, mocking the pretensions of poetry and literature and defending rules as rules, even now the strictures of anarchism. Back again to Aaron Swartz and Kroeber's daughter.

Moretti, Bourdieu and Kraftwerk, who had a sense self-awareness and thus irony.

"I love the melancholy poetry of reactionary homosexual Fordist anti-humanism, even as I understand that it's founded in pain and self-hatred."

Klub Kid Kommandos I'm alone. I'm everyone.

Daniel Davies on Israel. And Cory Robin comments without realizing what he's taking part in.
You're either in favor of equal rights for Palestinians in Israel, or you're not. The reason for the endless arguments is that friends are implicated: Zionism logically -irrefutably- is bigotry, but "my friends cannot be bigots", because "I can't be a bigot", so Zionism cannot be bigotry.

It comes down to self-preservation, the preservation of self-image. To challenge that is to challenge the logic of individualism, the intellectual and moral primacy of the individual consciousness, to accept the primacy of relations: the primacy of culture.

Individualists cannot admit to fundamental error without undermining everything they stand for.

The thread has dissolved into discussion of vanguardism. It would be fun if they'd let me post, but they won't. John Brown was a vanguardist, Martin Luther King was not. The Wisconsin protests were not vanguardist. Many defenders of the Occupy movement use the rhetoric of vanguardism. The Muslim Brotherhood is vanguardist, but the protests before, and again now are a mix. Israel was founded on vanguardism. All very complex, and all very interesting, but mediocrity is mediocrity.
...but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Bassem Youssef: "I criticized the MB Gov for thirty episodes and they didn't stop me. The current  government stopped me after one."

A reminder of the history of discussion of academic freedom at CT.

I’ve suggested that academic freedom is a good thing on pragmatic grounds, but also made clear that it fundamentally depends on public willingness to delegate some degree of self-governance to the academy. If the public decides that academic freedom isn’t working out in terms of the goods it provides, then too bad for academic freedom. 
If Kramer’s report is accurate, you can see why the Columbia faculty got frustrated. They wanted Bollinger to offer a traditional defense of academic freedom, which goes something like this: Academic freedom predates free speech…. 
[Perhaps Bollinger] knows the history and sources of academic freedom, but he thinks it uncongenial to assert them in this anti-elitist day and age. ...
Bertram on free speech. (some duplication from the link above). All repeats of repeats.
The right frame, in my view, is to think of the state as “we, the people” and to ask what conditions need to be in place for the people, and for each citizen, to play their role in effective self-government. Once you look at things like that then various speech restrictions naturally suggest themselves.
A confused mess.

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