Re: Kant, Hegel, Hitler

>More than that, to suggest that thinking in totalities is the same thing
>as committing mass murders is just plain silly. By this reasoning,
>Jameson, Said, Kenneth Burke, de Beauvoir, to name only a few, are all
>mere synonyms for Hitler. Anyone who believes this has fallen prey to
>the "fascistic" thinking of the _Dialectic of the Enlightenment_, a book
>that posits a causal totality, and then has multiplied Adorno and
>Horkheimer's reasoning by about 10.

I don't beleive that H & A "posit a causal totality." They argue that
there is a totalizing process out there which has caused/created/allowed
for fascism. But nothing suggests that their theory is totalizing in the
same sense- that is, leaving no room for other possibilities. Indeed, what
their point is is that we should have other possibilities. Thus, they
argue in "THe Culture Industry" thaT everyone simply acts like, looks like
everyone else. This is what a totalizing theory does. Thus, enlightenment
reason totalizes all reason by saying that ny reason there is must be this
rationalistic, utilitarian scientific reason. H & A say this is only one
kind of reason- the bad kind.
It depends on what you mean by the same as committing mass murders.
No, there is not the same kind of physical violence done. But there is
violence, physical and mental and social. The whole point of feminists
studies and ethongraphy is that modern, western scientific reasoning does
violence to other forms of life. In a allegorical but also very real
sense, it is mass murder, only of a different kind. Or how else should we
uderstand the inverted Clauseqitzina phrase that politics is war continued
by other means?

Department of Philosophy
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY. 40509


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