Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Ghost of Panofsky
Walter Friedlaender, one of Panofsky's teachers and a lifelong friend, related how to Erwin Panofsky's cradle in Hannover there hurried two fairies, Wealth and Intelligence. The third, Good Looks, didn't make it In her stead came a fairy who said, "Whichever book you open, you will find precisely the passage you need." 
which explains, continuing

Bertram
My book is a work in political philosophy rather than an intervention in current debates (though it can’t help being that to some extent). Let me just sketch the main argument and then I’ll get on to some further remarks about our current predicament. States are compulsory and coercive bodies. Legitimate states use that coercive force to limit the freedom of people subject to them. But there’s normally a quid pro quo involved: the state limits our freedom but also protects us from the threat that we, as individuals, pose to one another’s freedom. This tradeoff provides us with reasons to comply with the state’s authority. But unlike resident citizens would-be immigrants get all of the coercion with none of the protection. The world is divided into many states, some of which do a much better job for their subjects than others. And mobility is something that human beings have practised since forever. To make the regulation of migration legitimate, states ought to comply with principles that ought to be acceptable to everyone. Insofar as such principles don’t exist, legitimate states need to be working towards creating them (just as they regulate other areas of international life). Unfortunately, far from doing this, states at the moment are actively trying to subvert or evade even the paltry international conventions that currently exist, such as the Refugee Convention. In doing so, they are locking millions into poverty, exposing hundreds of thousands each year to avoidable death, separating families, and exposing others to statuses that make them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. States that act like this have lost their moral authority to control their borders.
Arendt
It is against the background of these experiences that I propose to raise the question of violence in the political realm. This is not easy; what Sorel remarked sixty years ago, 'The problems of violence still remain very obscure," is as true today as it was then. I mentioned the general reluctance to deal with violence as a phenomenon in its own right, and I must now qualify this statement. If we turn to discussions of the phenomenon of power, we soon find that there exists a consensus among political theorists from Left to Right to the effect that violence is nothing more than the most flagrant manifestation of power. "All politics is a struggle for power; the ultimate kind of power is violence," said C. Wright Mills, echoing, as it were, Max Weber's definition of the state as "the rule of men over men based on the means of legitimate, that is allegedly legitimate, violence." The consensus is very strange; for to equate political power with "the organization of violence" makes sense only if one follows Marx's estimate of the state as an instrument of oppression in the hands of the ruling class. Let at therefore turn to authors who do not believe that the body politic and its laws and institutions are merely coercive superstructures, secondary manifestations of some underlying forces. Let on tun, for instance, to Bertrand de Jouvenel, whose book Power is perhaps the most prestigious and, anyway, the most interesting recent treatise on the subject. "To him," he writes, "who contemplates the unfolding of the ages war presents itself as an activity of States which pertains to their essence." This may prompt us to ask whether the end of warfare, then, would mean the end of states. Would the disappearance of violence in relationships between states spell the end of power?

The answer, it seems, will depend on what we understand by power. And power, it tuns out, is an instrument of rule, while rule, we are told, owes its existence to "the instinct of domination."54 We are immediately reminded of what Sartre said about violence when we read in Jouvenel that "a man feels himself more of a man when he is imposing himself and making others the instruments of his will," which gives him "incomparable pleasure." "Power," said Voltaire, "consists in making others act as I choose"; it is present wherever I have the chance "to assert my own will against the resistance" of others, said Max Weber, reminding on of Clausewitz's definition of war as "an act of violence to compel the opponent to do as we wish." The word, we are told by Strausz-Hupé signifies "the power of man over man."  To go back to Jouvenel: "To command and to be obeyed: without that, there is no Power—with it no other attribute is needed for it to be.... The thing without which it cannot be: that essence is command." If the essence of power is the effectiveness of command, then there is no greater power than that which grows out of the barrel of a gun, and it would be difficult to say in "which way the order given by a policeman is different from that given by a gunman." (I am quoting from the important hook The Notion of the State, by Alexander Passerin d'Entreves, the only author I know who is aware of the importance of distinguishing between violence and power. "We have to decide whether and in what sense 'power' can be distinguished from 'force', to as-certain how the fact of using force according to law changes the quality of force itself and presents on with an entirely different picture of human relations," since "force, by the very fact of being qualified, ceases to be force." But even this distinction, by far the most sophisticated and thoughtful one in the literature, does not go to the roots of the matter...

However, there exists another tradition and another vocabulary no less old and time-honored. When the Athenian city-state called its constitution an isonomy, or the Romans spoke of the civitas as their form of government, they had in mind a concept of power and law whose essence did not rely on the command-obedience relationship and which did not identify power and rule or law and command. It was to these examples that the men of the eighteenth-century revolutions turned when they ransacked the archives of antiquity and constituted a form of government, a republic, where the rule of law, resting on the power of the people, would put an end to the rule of man over man, which they thought was a "government fit for slaves." They too, unhappily, still talked about obedience—obedience to laws instead of men; but what they actually meant was support of the laws to which the citizenry had given in consent.. Such support is never unquestioning, and as far as reliability is concerned it can-not match the indeed "unquestioning obedience" that an act of violence can exact—the obedience every criminal can count on when he snatches my pocketbook with the help of a knife or robs a bank with the help of a gun. It is the people's support that lends power to the institutions of a country, and this support is but the continuation of the consent that brought the laws into existence to begin with Under conditions of representative government the people are supposed to rule those who govern them. All political institutions are manifestations and materializations of power; they petrify and decay as soon as the living power of the people ceases to uphold them. This is what Madison meant when he said "all governments rest on opinion," a word no less true Inc the various forms of monarchy than for democracies. ("To suppose that majority rule functions only in democracy is a fantastic illusion," as Jouvenel points out: "The king, who is but one solitary individual, stands far more in need of the general support of Society than any other form of government." Even the tyrant, the One who rules against all, needs helpers in the business of violence, though their number may be rather restricted.) However, the strength of opinion, that is, the power of the government, depends on numbers; it is "in proportion to the number with which it is associated,". and tyranny, as Montesquieu discovered, is therefore the most violent and least powerful of forms of government. Indeed one of the most obvious distinctions between pence and violence is that power always stands in need of numbers, whereas violence up to a point can manage without them because it relies on implements.
See also.
Beginning in the 1950s and blossoming since 1961, a major scholarly controversy has sucked The Federalist into its gravitational field: What was its role in the great shift from republicanism to liberalism in American political thought? These complex bodies of ideas and practices have almost no direct links to today’s Republican party or modern American liberalism; moreover, these terms have become so vague that many historians have abandoned both words as useless.

Desiring to preserve liberty and to achieve the common good, Americans established republican forms of government—in which the people held ultimate political power, entrusting it to representatives responsible to them. Every previous republic, however, had collapsed into anarchy or tyranny. The precondition for a successful republic, therefore, was to maintain the people's virtue —their willingness to sacrifice special interests in the service of the public interest.

By contrast, those who espoused liberalism favored each person's right to pursue his or her talents and abilities to the fullest extent possible. The strongest case for a republic, they argued, was precisely that it would enable each citizen to develop those talents; a republic should take the greatest possible pains not to restrain that process but to
guide it so that individuals‘ pursuit of their own interests would foster the public interest.

Scholars who identify a great transition from republicanism to liberalism marked by the making of the Constitution and those who insist that the Constitution maintained the American commitment to republicanism find ammunition in The Federalist. That they can read it for such clashing purposes. however. undermines this argument's usefulness for understanding The Federalist or the historical context that produced it. Today, historians and legal scholars such as Jack N. Rakove, Bruce Ackerman, William E. Nelson, and the present writer are moving beyond this debate's stale polarities. Instead. they suggest, American constitutionalism embodies an ever-shifting balance between these two bodies of thought; there was thus no dramatic sea-change from one to the other.
"The sea-change is real, and the victory of liberalism over republicanism connects to the victory of technocracy and scientism. Virtue is an explicit prior. There's no way it could be expected to prevail in the age of objectivity, reason, and "value free" science. But capitalism can thrive. "

Sunday, March 18, 2018

3/24
It was going to be new post, but they make a nice pair.

Jane Mayer
I joined the NRA at camp, won sharpshooter medal, was 8 when JFK was shot, 13 when MLK & RFK were shot, as a reporter I observe & don't join anything, but have seen enough innocent slaughter: I'm joining my daughter and the other kids at the march today.
repeat
Political scientists seek to understand politics, not engage in politics. Yet our profession has always had strong normative commitments at its foundation: a conviction that peace is preferable to war, freedom to tyranny, justice to injustice, equality to inequality, democracy to authoritarianism. As John Adams wrote in 1780, in the Massachusetts Constitution, the fundamental premise of American self-government is that it “be a government of laws, and not of men.”

It is in this spirit that we are voicing our collective concern about Donald Trump.
"I asked a Marine if he was a soldier first or citizen. He said 'Semper Fi'."

Objectivity is impossible, and the ideal of objectivity ends in passivity. I've said it a thousand times; I've watched people beginning to come to terms with it. I've said that a thousand times too.

After the inauguration, Washington DC
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Anchorman, etc
imdb
Repeat, two years ago

"That explains it." It still does.
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Leiter: "...but given that she's an assistant professor in a field with no discernible wissenschaftlich standards..."

Rauchway, repeats of repeats, originally here
[A] traditional defense of academic freedom... goes something like this: Academic freedom predates free speech. Although Prussia gave constitutional protection to Lehrfreiheit in 1850 (“science and its teaching shall be free”), academic freedom generally does not enjoy legal protection outside of contractual guarantees; rather, it rests on the authority and ability of a community of competent scholars to police their own discourse and on the willingness of universities to affirm this authority and ability.
Kant and de Maistre (start here)
Kant, What is Enlightenment?
Thus we observe here as elsewhere in human affairs, in which almost everything is paradoxical, a surprising and unexpected course of events: a large degree of civic freedom appears to be of advantage to the intellectual freedom of the people, yet at the same time it establishes insurmountable barriers. A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity. 
de Maistre
Everything that constrains a man, strengthens him.
Joshua Yoder: The Case Of Human Plurality: Hannah Arendt's Critique Of Individualism In Enlightenment And Romantic Thinking [pdf]
According to Leonard Krieger, the concept of individual freedom, or "individual secular liberty," characterized political thought in Western Europe as early as the seventeenth century. The freedom of the individual depended on maintaining some kind of distance from political authority. In Germany, however, "individualized freedom", or Freiheit, had to contend with another notion of freedom already present: Libertaet, which referred to the rights of German princes within the Holy Roman Empire. After 1650, as German princes began to exercise more political control, they interpreted Libertaet as the freedom to rule without Imperial interference. The idea of Libertaet, along with centralized administration and growing bureaucracies, changed the German principalities into sovereign territorial states. Yet, within these states the individual, and individual rights, still occupied an ambiguous role. Krieger argues
The German princes never ceased to feel themselves aristocrats as well as monarchs, not only personally because of their family origins and connections, not only socially because of their special dependence on the nobility worked by the peculiarities of the German economic and social structure, but even institutionally, because the social and constitutional structures were so integrally intertwined that the very development of the German princes toward absolute sovereignty in their own territory was at the same time a development of their aristocratic rights within the [Holy Roman] German Empire. It was this institutional connection between sovereign power and aristocratic liberties... that made this kind of Libertaet the representative expression of German political liberty in the old regime.
From 1650-1750, as the more individualistic ideas of Freiheit spread into Germany from enlightened thinkers in Western Europe, they were transformed to fit the prevalent ideas of Libertaet, resulting in the notion of enlightened absolutism. German thinkers "adopted western assumptions which made individuals the primary units of society and individual rights the basis and the limitation of the state, but they interpreted these assumptions in a way compatible with the preservation of the peculiar German corporate rights and made the prince arbiter over all." Using natural law, German thinkers were able to combine inalienable rights and political obligation in the form of an absolutist state. After 1750, political ideas in Western Europe continued to further reflect notions of "material individualism,"but in Germany "natural law absolutism" held sway in both theory and practice until the French Revolution.

[Leonard Krieger, The German Idea of Freedom: History of a Political Tradition]
What is Enlightenment?
I have emphasized the main point of the enlightenment--man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage-- primarily in religious matters, because our rulers have no interest in playing the guardian to their subjects in the arts and sciences. Above all, nonage in religion is not only the most harmful but the most dishonorable. But the disposition of a sovereign ruler who favors freedom in the arts and sciences goes even further: he knows that there is no danger in permitting his subjects to make public use of their reason and to publish their ideas concerning a better constitution, as well as candid criticism of existing basic laws. We already have a striking example [of such freedom], and no monarch can match the one whom we venerate.

But only the man who is himself enlightened, who is not afraid of shadows, and who commands at the same time a well disciplined and numerous army as guarantor of public peace--only he can say what [the sovereign of] a free state cannot dare to say: "Argue as much as you like, and about what you like, but obey!" Thus we observe here as elsewhere in human affairs, in which almost everything is paradoxical, a surprising and unexpected course of events: a large degree of civic freedom appears to be of advantage to the intellectual freedom of the people, yet at the same time it establishes insurmountable barriers. A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity. Nature, then, has carefully cultivated the seed within the hard core--namely the urge for and the vocation of free thought. And this free thought gradually reacts back on the modes of thought of the people, and men become more and more capable of acting in freedom. At last free thought acts even on the fundamentals of government and the state finds it agreeable to treat man, who is now more than a machine, in accord with his dignity.
When I first read it the contradictions annoyed me; they were obvious and stupid. I didn't have the patience to read for context. Later it made sense, but I'm just disgusted that the contradictions are simply ignored.
Although he took a keen interest in the great British philosophers - he later discovered and edited some new letters by Hume - he shared Cassirer's dismay at the blinkered approach of the analytical philosophers who dominated the Oxford scene: ignoring the historical context of thinkers such as Leibniz, the only thing they wanted to know was whether his statements were true according to their own criteria.
Formalism and anti-humanist pseudoscience in the age of Weber: the age of plumbers.
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serendipity. continuing here