Search the Lounge


« Wash U Law Seeks Faculty | Main | CFP: Conspiracy Theories, Disinformation, and Civil Rights »

July 07, 2021


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ediberto Roman

Jonathan, Looks like a wonderful project. Looking forward to reading it. Loved your description--well done!

Steven Lubet

Excellent post, Jonathan. Thanks for joining us today.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

While my worldview is largely of a Marxist orientation (albeit a bit idiosyncratic) I happen to believe in the importance of Liberal education (in the manner of Liberal political philosophy), one that is open to allowing space for educational philosophies and pedagogies not circumscribed by Liberalism proper, say, as found among anarchist intellectuals and activists or the works of Paulo Freire. Conservatism, even of the non-Trumpian variety (that is, the sort not lacking an aversion to reality testing), remains regressive and backward-looking overall, still prone to what Albert Hirschman famously identified as the "rhetoric of reaction" in his 1991 book by that title. Moreover, it has never disassociated itself from the ideologies Stephen Holmes diagnosed as common to anti-liberalism in The Anatomy of Antiliberalism (1993). It is a vapid political philosophy, with precious few redeemable parts, hence the easy descent among Republicans into anti-democratic and fascist or neo-fascist views and political behavior. What is left of conservatism makes for neoliberalism, an hysterical and desperate attempt to save the radically inegalitarian distribution of economic and political power on a global level with a noxious mix of top-down capitalist markets and corporate power, the latter dominated by finance capitalism. Conservatives of all kinds, when not simply engaged in self-deception, denial, and pernicious wishful thinking, lack a clear understanding of global climate change, rendering them irrelevant (when not dangerous) for the most urgent political and economic subject of our time.

Finally, it seems your book has failed to address the foremost problem besetting would-be Liberal higher education: the capitalist distortion and deformation of the entire system of such education, evidence for which I gathered together titles in my bibliography, Capitalist and Other Distortions of Democratic Education: a reading guide, found on my Academia(dot)edu page.

Anonymous Bosch

"Conservatives of all kinds, when not simply engaged in self-deception, denial, and pernicious wishful thinking..."

Oh boy. The reactionary Marxist forces strike again.

Thank you for your: class essentialism and insistence upon that forming our core identities; the monistic and myopic lens of historical materialism; positing mystical "forces" of production; the insistence that we are alienated from our true nature (because, despite evolution by natural selection being scientific fact, we have a species being that will be made manifest when the appropriate socio-economic conditions obtain); seeing morality within capitalist society as "ideology" whilst failing to observe that your own conceptions of who should own what are entirely predicated upon those - socially-constructed - moral norms (including in terms of what counts as a fair share between the sale of the "labourer's" product and the capitalist's take. How do you know that that just isn't a function of YOUR false consciousness?); a "dialectical materialism" that even Marx basically admitted was a vacuous term he employed when he needed a place filler.

How is any of that crap progress? Don't our scientific advancements, and greater appreciation of the social constructedness of our entire conceptual scheme, suggest that we should leave (most of) that sort of religious mumbo jumbo in the dustbin of history? If you don't, do you think that dumping millions of "undocumented workers" into the USA and shouting "no one is illegal!" is really just a form of class warfare?

You also going to try to give us the essentialist spiel about conservatives perforce lacking a clear understanding of climate change? (How about an essentialist claim that a capitalist legal liberal system couldn't perforce regulate the economy to the extent required to curb climate change?).

Do you see the Marxists, socialists, social-democrats, and "liberals" clamoring to shut down the carbon-disaster resource extraction facets of the economies in those Western countries in which they loom large (e.g., Canadian and Norwegian oil)? Based on their actual track-records in office, don't all of them simply try to tax those more or just try to socialize them? Would the Scottish National Party actually bring an end to North Sea oil production, or is that not instead its dominant hope for trying to convince Scots that a separate country would actually be viable?

How, moreover, do YOU distinguish between fascists and neo-fascists in terms of ideology, Patrick? In Italy, for example, prominent - self-styled - neo-fascists famously tried to ally with the communists after the "Years of Lead" precisely because they shared the dream of ending capitalism.

I usually don't buy into other people's self-promotion of their materials on this blog. So, give us the skinny: when exactly was the education system in the USA non-capitalist, such that it could be distorted and deformed by capitalism?

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Perhaps needless to say, the individual above made all kinds of assumptions, presumptions, and extravagant inferences from my post and about my worldview (which is not just Marxist). As I do not engage anonymous posters, should anyone want to learn more about my views they can read my close to 1,000 posts at Religious Left Law and/or look at the material on my Academia page (it has well over 100 bibliographies on sundry subjects, published and unpublished articles, essays and other stuff, as well as study guides for some major religious worldviews).

Anonymous Bosch

"While my worldview is largely of a Marxist orientation..."

And again with the self-promotion, Paddy?

We've tangled before (e.g., when I demonstrated to you that you had zero evidence that torture doesn't actually work... 'cause there'd actually have to be publicly available, testable evidence that would establish that that's the case...). Don't quit your day job, tovarish.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad