Republican paradoxes essay

It has seemed to me worth while to show from the history of civilization just what war has done and has not done for the welfare of mankind. In the eighteenth century it was assumed that the primitive state of mankind was one of Arcadian peace, joy, and contentment. In the nineteenth century the assumption went over to the other extreme — that the primitive state was one of universal warfare. This, like the former notion, is a great exaggeration.

Republican paradoxes essay

Critical Inquiry - Autumn Slavoj Zizek The Culturalization of Politics Why are today so many problems perceived as problems of intolerance, not as problems of inequality, exploitation, injustice? Why is the proposed remedy tolerance, not emancipation, political struggle, even armed struggle?

The immediate answer is the liberal multiculturalist's basic ideological operation: The cause of this culturalization is the retreat, failure, of direct political solutions Welfare State, socialist projects, etc. Tolerance is their post-political ersatz: The retreat from more substantive visions of justice heralded by the promulgation of tolerance today is part of a more general depoliticization of citizenship and power and retreat from political life itself.

The cultivation of tolerance as a political end implicitly constitutes a rejection of politics as a domain in which conflict can be productively articulated and addressed, a domain in which citizens can be transformed by their participation.

The idea of culture as "second nature" is, of course, an old one.

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It was, of course, Samuel Huntington who proposed the most successful formula of this "culturalization of politics" by locating the main source of today's conflicts into the "clash of civilizations," what one is tempted to call the Huntington's disease of our time - as he put it, after the end of the Cold War, the "iron curtain of ideology" has been replaced by the "velvet curtain of culture.

The "clash of civilizations" IS politics at the "end of history. This brings us to the next paradox: The basic opposition is thus related to the opposite between collective and individual: Since, however, every individual has to be somehow "particularized," it has to dwell in a particular life-world, the only way to resolve this deadlock is to split the individual into universal and particular, public and private where "private" covers both the "safe haven" of family and the non-state public sphere of civil society economy.

In liberalism, culture survives, but as privatized: Culture is thus literally transubstantiated: Insofar as culture itself is the source of barbarism and intolerance, the inevitable conclusion is that the only way to overcome intolerance and violence is to extricate the core of subject's being, its universal essence, from culture: This, incidentally, gives a new twist to Joseph Goebbels's infamous formula "when I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun" - but not when I hear the word civilization.

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Wendy Brown problematizes this liberal notion on a multitude of levels: First, it is not truly universal, kulturlos. Since, in our societies, a sexualized division of labor still predominates which confers a male twist on basic liberal categories autonomy, public activity, competitionand relegates women to the private sphere of family solidarity, etc.

Republican paradoxes essay

Furthermore, it is only the modern Western capitalist culture for which autonomy, individual freedom, etc. Brown's second line of attack concerns the freedom of choice - here, also, liberalism shows a strong bias.

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It shows intolerance when individuals of other cultures are not given freedom of choice cliterodectomy, child brideship, infanticide, polygamy, family rape Finally, there are all the self-referring paradoxes centered on the impasse of tolerating intolerance.

Liberalist multiculturalism preaches tolerance between cultures, while making it clear that true tolerance is fully possible only in the individualist Western culture, and thus legitimizes even military interventions as an extreme mode of fighting the other's intolerance - some US feminists supported the US occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq as a form of helping the women in these countriesThis article examines John Milton's political prose, which reflects the ideological turbulence and paradoxes of nascent English republicanism.

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