Um, we could consider class? or the state?
Bryan Alexander Department of English
email: bnalexan@xxxxxxxxx University of Michigan
phone: (313) 764-0418 Ann Arbor, MI USA 48103
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On Mon, 11 Mar 1996, Samuel Lawrence Binkley wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 11, 1996 3:09:36 AM at jln wrote:
> >Habermas is Habermas, 'nough said.
> Hmmm... Habermas is certainly habermas.... but, as someone who tends to
> line up with Foucault against the Habermafian (not a typo) critique, I'm
> experimenting with a new more sympathetic reading of ole Jurgen. I
> recently read "structural transformations of the public sphere" for the
> first time, and am currently going through "theory of communicative
> action"..... and trying to set aside what have by now become knee jerk
> responses to Habermassian "totalizing discourse", or the "ideology of
> communicative clarity" and so on.
> I mean, his history of the western public sphere is not in itself a bad
> thing. He is quite rightly critical of an over hasty tendency on the part
> of marxists and critical theorists to conclude that capitalists modes of
> production, rising out of bourgeois enlightenment, immediately turns
> enlightenment against itself as it rationalizes/colonizes the subjective
> world. Habermas inserts an intermediate phase in this developmental
> process, a sphere of bourgeois rational-critical debate, which, as he
> describes, is both the product of capitalist developments and supercedes
> the horizons of these developments.
> Is this really such a bad thing? Okay, maybe the conclusions he draws from
> this discovery (that such spheres of rational critical debate can be
> isolated and defended throughout societies, modern western or not) are
> frighteningly "totalitarian" as Lyotard calls him. But, is there a way to
> make use of Habermas's history of the bourgeois world that escapes an
> ahistoricizing-essentializing of rational communication?
> just curious.