Friday, March 17, 2006

Attempts At Rehabilitation

There's been bits and pieces of commentary on this quite repulsive speech floating around for a while, I think, but I hadn't actually bothered to read it until coming across this at Bartlett's Bizarre Bazaar, whose claim that the author is engaged in an attempt to rehabilitate virulent, bloody and totalitarian racism is fairly accurate. The tropes, most obviously that of the stab in the back by deviant intellectuals back home and generalised smearing of modernity as treacherous, but also the generalisation from individual radicalised Muslims to all those from majority Muslim countries, are all present. The irony, therefore, of it explicitly evoking Nazism as the parallel for the civilisational threat Muslims now present, is rather pleasant, if undermined by its general hatefulness.

Continuing my own, rather more justified, projects of political rehabilitation, Crooked Timber has a link to some correspondence (the link is currently down, presumably because of the traffic it's getting) between Phillipe van Parijs and John Rawls on 'The Law of Peoples', which is not only interesting for those concerned with Rawls' views on global justice, but also has, as mentioned in the post, an indication of Rawls' obviously deeply-felt anti-capitalist sentiment.


Rochenko said...

Very interesting link, that last one. Not only friend of global justice, but Rawls as friend of ecological economics? At least, it sounds like he would (given the ref to Mill's 'stationary state' and the criticisms of unending growth as sole measure of progress) have been amenable to the ideas of someone like Herman Daly.

Rob Jubb said...

I don't find it so surprising as I think many others, including other Rawlsians, do. Rawls may well have had sets of ethical convictions which had little or no bearing on his political theory because of his commitment to a principle of neutrality. Or, to put it another way, Rawls' environmentalism and anti-capitalism were for him not political. As for the more substantive point, it's a very long time since I read the relevant bits of 'Theory' - the stuff on inter-generational justice, basically - and I wasn't paying attention then, so I can't offer any enlightenment.