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41. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Lisa Heldke “Dear Kate Bornstein”: Bisexual Reflections on a Bi-Trans Alliance
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In an imagined letter to the author of My Gender Workbook, the author of this article recounts classroom discussions about gender identity that led to profound questions regarding the relation between sex, gender, and sexuality. The author argues that more conversation between bisexual and transgender perspectives would continue to unsettle conceptual frameworks for sexuality in helpful ways. The author finds special consequences in this conversation for the concept of gender, especially when it is considered as a reference point for self-exploration and classification.
42. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Harry van der Linden The Left and Humanitarian Intervention as Solidarity
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Although the author concedes that much criticism from the left alleging ulterior imperialist motives of missions for “humanitarian intervention” is valid; nevertheless, the author argues that it would be wrong to rule out the concept of humanitarian intervention, even when conducted by imperialist powers for imperialist motives. The concept of “rescue” remains a valid humanitarian concept, and a logical foundation for solidarity with populations who find themselves under assault and defenseless. The author considers various regulative principles that may guide more careful thinking about humanitarian intervention.
43. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Peter Hudis Philosophic Implications of the War over Kosova
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In analysis of reactions to the NATO-led bombing of Kosova, the author finds that radical critics relied on a disembodied logic of anti-imperialism rather than focusing on the experience of the Kosovar population. For this reason, the author argues that the left failed to consider the history of Kosovar nonviolent resistance to Serbian domination or the Serbian repressions that followed. And in the aftermath of the bombing, the left failed to see how NATO intervention was also leveled at dismembering the indigenous liberation struggle of the Kosovar population. Behind these errors, the author argues for philosophic reform of left analysis, that will move beyond binary oppositions of imperialism/anti-imperialism, into more dialectical engagement with historical particulars, especially when those particulars involve emerging indigenous movements for liberation.
44. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Cliff DuRand Making the World Safe for US: Cultural Roots of the USA Interventionism
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In the roots of political culture in the USA, Tocqueville long ago noted with concern an individualism that could undercut needed structures of shared community. This individualism, argues the author, is one key feature of American culture that tends to empower military interventionism by empowering American elites to go their own way and pursue their own interests, without too much worry that they will be held accountable to more communitarian standards. Yet, American culture is not one-sided, and the author encourages public appeals to another, balancing cultural value, that of republicanism. The author also touches briefly on the cultural tradition of American messianism and its value to globe-conquering elites.
45. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Abstracts
46. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Greg Moses Desire at the Docks: A Preview
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In this introductory essay the editor places the broad movement of Marxist philosophy into a tradition that, since Plato, has endeavored to stimulate desire for concepts of justice, in contexts of flourishing commercial power. Although Plato and the modern philosopher both know the risks of such undertakings (it was majority rule that put Socrates to death), and although powerful commercial interests have never been altogether comfortable in philosophical company, nevertheless the academy and the work of philosophy proves to be a curious necessity, as this collection of essays demonstrates.
47. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Robert Ware Creating Organizations and Institutions for Radical Democracy
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Typical philosophies of liberation often assume, and sometimes argue, that freedom and democracy will be best experienced through an absence of institutions. Contrary to this trend in theory, the author argues that a better philosophy of liberation will seek to transform institutions, rather than abolish them. Using examples of cooperative experiments in the Basque territories and in Brazil, the author argues that experiences of liberation are achieved through new forms of institutional life that nurture participatory and egalitarian relationships between people.
48. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Len Krimerman One Cheer for Experimental Pluralism, Another for Education-Shaped Democracy
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In reply to a chapter by Robert Ware on the need to include, rather than eliminate, institutions in theories of liberation, the author warns that liberation theory must walk on both social and psychological legs and then argues that Ware’s comparative analysis of institutions fails to lead analysis into crucial reflection on how individuals are transformed. Drawing on the work of John Dewey and George Benello, the author argues that an educational philosophy can offer a helpful framework for thinking about relationships between institutions and individuals, such that genuinely democratic institutions would be recognized as being more developmentally educative for individuals involved. The chapter also contains a brief reply by Ware.
49. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Harry Targ Class and Race in the USA Labor Movement: The Case of the Packinghouse Workers
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Drawing on several recent studies, and a few personal interviews with leadership, the author reviews the history (1937-1968) of the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) in order to demonstrate how this Chicago-based labor movement exemplified radical commitments to social welfare and civil rights, in addition to more traditional concerns with pay and other shopfloor issues. Not only did the union have significant membership among African-American workers, but it also undertook active programs of anti-racism in order to fight racial discrimination with its own ranks. The union also resisted much of the anti-communist politics of the post-Cold War era, resulting in a tradition of racial commitments to “social unionism.” For example, this was one of the first unions to offer financial support to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference soon after the civil rights organization was founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
50. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 3
Contributors
51. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Contributors
52. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Omar Dahbour Is “Globalizing Democracy” Possible?
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Comparing Carol Gould’s Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights to other recent discussions of global justice, Dahbour argues that her work offers two important theoretical departures: It grounds global rights and democracy along foundationalist rather than constructivist lines; and it rejects the notion that just global institutions require the equal input of all those affected by their activities, defending instead that only those engaged in the “common activity” of institutions should participate in the decision-making. On the basis of this common activity guideline, Dahbour argues against Gould that we should not move toward “globalizing democracy” (or political cosmopolitanism) because globalization has been mostly a project of U.S. Empire. Instead, furthering democracy andhuman rights requires the strengthening of local democracy and support of the global justice movement as an antiglobalization movement. [Abstract prepared by the Editors.]
53. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Kory P. Schaff Are There Human Rights?
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Guided by Hegel’s claim that rights are actual only with the modern state, and noting that the “abstract spirit of Kant’s cosmopolitanism” is pervasive in Carol Gould’s Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights, Schaff raises a variety of moral, political, and ontological objections to her account of rights. Most controversially, he argues that if we embrace with Gould the idea that people have rights even if their political community does not grant them, we may play into the hands of imperial aggression cloaked in human rights language—as exemplified by the justificatory rhetoric of the U.S. in support of its recent interventions and its ongoing occupation of Iraq. [Abstract prepared by the Editors.]
54. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
David Schweickart Stakeholders and Terrorists: On Carol Gould’s Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights
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Schweickart argues that Gould in her most recent book seems to have shifted away from the notion of economic democracy as “one person, one vote” to a less radical modified stakeholder view in which the various constituents of the economic enterprise, including employees, stockholders, and managers, share in decision-making power. Noting that Gould does not explain why she holds that workplace democracy is a too stringent participatory demand, Schweickart brings up a variety of arguments that might be offered in support of her claim and finds them all clearly wanting. More briefly, he addresses Gould’s normative analysis of terrorism, concluding that it raises, but does not address, the difficult question, “Should we empathize with the [suicide] terrorists?” [Abstract prepared by the Editors.]
55. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Carol C. Gould A Reply to My Critics
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In response to critical discussions of her Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights by William McBride, Omar Dahbour, Kory Schaff, and David Schweickart, Gould grants that globalization and U.S. Empire are intertwined, but she argues that this does not refute that global and transnational interconnections and networks are developing that are in need of substantive democracy. Gould further seeks to clarify two main interpretive misunderstandings of her critics. First, even though she rejects “all affected” as a criterion for determining the participants of institutional decision-making, she does leave room for participation of the “affected” when the fulfillment of their basic rights is at stake. Second, she argues that her vision of democratizing economic institutions is not fundamentallydifferent from the traditional idea of workplace democracy. Other topics addressed are the normative grounding of human rights, the error of reducing human rights to positive law, and the incoherency of the notion that democracy can be imposed by the barrel of a gun. Finally, Gould maintains that empathy, if properly understood, should be extended to terrorists, while we should also strongly condemn their rejection of noncombatant immunity. [Abstract prepared by the Editors.]
56. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Abstracts
57. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Ann Ferguson No Just War for the Empire
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Although international law and the Charter of the United Nations define a doctrine of just war, some critics have argued that the U.S. has become an empire that can no longer be bound by such doctrine. On the contrary, I maintain that we must retain just war doctrine as a normative base from which to critique the U.S. and its preemptive wars against terrorism. Neither the Afghanistan nor the Iraq war has been a just war. By its imperialist intentions and barbarous actions, the U.S. government has shown itself no longer to be a legitimate authority with the moral justification to begin or conduct a war. Such subversion of democratic deliberation requires a moral force to mobilize resistance from below. Since no war initiated by the undemocratic elite of the U.S. Empire could possibly be just, we have a conscientious obligation to become revolutionary pacifists against any wars called by such an illegitimate government. In contrast to universal pacifism, a context-justified revolutionary pacifism can be defended as a coherent moral and political position.
58. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Edmund F. Byrne Leave No Oil Reserves Behind, Including Iraq’s: The Geopolitics of American Imperialism
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Just war theory needs to become a real-time critique of government war propaganda in order to facilitate peace advocacy ante bellum. This involves countering asserted justificatory reasons with demonstrable facts that reveal other motives, thereby yielding reflective understanding which can be collectivized via electronic media. As a case in point, I compare here the publicly declared reasons for the U.S./U.K. invasion of Iraq in 2003 with reasons discussed internally months and even years before in government and think-tank documents. These sources show that control of oil rather than regime change or a WMD threat was theunderlying motive. Neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration justified such deception by citing an exoteric/esoteric distinction traceable to Plato via Leo Strauss. As with the Iraq invasion, so in general such propaganda and its rationalizations can be undermined by investigative journalism understood as ranging from fact gathering to rhetorical analysis and critique.
59. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
David R. Cormier, Harry Targ Globalization, Neoliberalism, and the “Precarious Classes”: The Next Phase
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This paper looks at an emerging major economic trend which appears to be, in part, a consequence of neoliberal globalization. This development is the rise of a huge segment of the world’s population, in both developed and developing countries, comprising a redundant or unneeded group of workers, both rural and urban. These make up “the precarious classes.” The paper initially presents background ideas to set the stage for discussing these findings. It looks at data summarizing the consequences of globalization to date in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. The rise of the “working poor” in the U.S. is first documented and then we summarize Samir Amin’s work on what he calls the emergence of “precarious classes” around the globe. Finally, we tie this apparent trend to related global problems and look at what is needed to further research this potentially ominous development.
60. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 4
Jo-Ann Pilardi From Alien to Guest: A Philosophical Scrutiny of the Bush Administration’s “Guest Worker” Initiative
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This paper examines the Bush Administration’s immigration “reform” initiative of January 2004, which proposes a guest worker category to further regulate the continuing immigration of workers into the United States. The plan is particularly intended to affect the flow of workers from Mexico. I will argue that this doesn’t represent an improvement but rather creates a deeper level of alienation for the laborer and greater control for global capital, and results in another layer of control over human subjects through the regulation of identity. However, there are promising signs that global capital may be weakening, due to both internaland external forces. I don’t propose specific immigration policy changes in this paper.