Re: Poststructualism, ethics and values

I was interested in Thomas Diez' description of how international relations
theory illustrates MF's ontology....

"What is put forward here is that the EU can be read as
a form of political organization transcending "state-ness". Which begs the
question of HOW it may be read, then. The answers to this differ widely.
And From a (my) postmodern perspective, I argue against any model which tries to
give the integration process a finality, commonly in one or the other form
of a federal state. An alternative would be to stress the process itself,
which never really comes to an end, and is partly pushed "forward" (not in
any linear meaning) by the proliferation of "horizons". Horizons have the
advantage that they include different options per definitionem and are never

I'm fascinated by the inability (psychological??) of some to accept politics
which does not offer or even pay homage to a sense of "finality". For these
people, values can't seem to be found in process but only in moral
end-points. I wonder why this is so?

A corollary to this is the rhetorical device that critics employ with great
flourish - and futility. If MF's theory has no moral grounding or verities
(ie because you can't find Value in a stance itself), how can you
authentically resist? Very satisfying if you ignore his starting premises.
For example, MF sees the positive, constructive role of critique as a
central (albeit often overlooked) element of Kant's modernist project:

Kant in fact describes Enlightenment as the moment when humanity is
going to put its own reason to use, without subjecting itself to
authority; now it is precisely at this moment that the critique is
necessary, since its role is that of defining the conditions under
which the use of reason is legitimate in order to determine what can
be known, what must be done, and what be hoped. [WIE]

In Laclau's terms, the application of this critique makes politics an
ever-evolving constellation of political re-integrations.

By the way, Thomas, as a student of Rob Walker, I always enjoyed the old
school int. relations types (H. Morgenthau,et al) reacting with disbelief
whenever Rob talked "the Foucault angle".

C Welch
Colin B. Welch

eMAIL: cwelch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx * Phone: 1+604+
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