Re: [OPE-L] class struggle as a causal structure

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Thu Jan 05 2006 - 12:31:55 EST

Hi Jerry

> PS: I'm not really keen on the idea of "deferring."  Authoritarian
> structures, even on the Left, often send the message that members
> should "defer" to the judgement of "the leadership" since they,
> after all, supposedly have the most information and know what's
> best for us.  Kind of creeps me out.

As I understand Howard's point about "deferring" it has the most
important anti-authoritatrian consequences. By trying to defer to
social reality we acknowledge there are facts of the matter
independent of our theories; that the ultimate arbiter of truth is "de
re" not "de dicto", what there is, not what we think there is. By not
trying to defer to social reality, as per postmodernism, there is no
method in principle from which to rationally compare and judge
different social theories (a point often made themselves by
postmodernist theorists). In my view, this opens the door to all kinds
of voluntarism and incommensurable conservations, and ultimately the
bad practices you mention. This is why the Royal Society motto caught
my eye -- "in the words of no master" -- i.e., we do not have to
listen to any human authority.

Best wishes,


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