Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Video)

This video covers chapter 2 of Chantal Mouffe’s The Return of the Political, where we learn how Mouffe agrees with Communitarians on some things, but ultimately wants to move beyond them and keep what is valuable about liberalism. Is Mouffe’s “thin community” good enough? Not sure, but we’ll see as we move through the rest of her argument. Some major Communitarians, Charles Taylor, Alasdaire MacIntyre, and Michael Sandel, are discussed in relation to Mouffe’s views. … More Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Video)

The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Both classical conservative Edmund Burke and democratic socialist Eduard Bernstein were very skeptical about whether the “common man” of their time was up to the task of real political leadership. Even their reasons for being skeptical are similar. But, the differences are also stark, and they bring back the nature versus nurture debate. Bernstein thinks that the deficiencies of the working class that make them not yet ready for pure socialism have to do with their environment and they can be overcome. Burke is pretty sure that human nature expresses itself in a spectrum of ability and that some people will always be unfit to rule. … More The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2–Audio)

I cover several points of agreement or near agreement between Edmund Burke (author of Reflections on the Revolution in France) and Eduard Bernstein (author of Evolutionary Socialism). Though a century apart and on supposedly opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, these two men thought in the same mode when it came to their dislike for revolution, sudden change, reform and the limitations of the masses. … More Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2–Audio)

Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2-Video)

I cover several points of agreement or near agreement between Edmund Burke (author of Reflections on the Revolution in France) and Eduard Bernstein (author of Evolutionary Socialism). Though a century apart and on supposedly opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, these two men thought in the same mode when it came to their dislike for revolution, sudden change, reform and the limitations of the masses. … More Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2-Video)

Origins of “Mutual Aid” and Why It’s Getting Popular– Desert v Green State (3-Video)

Launching off the interplay between the Desert Manifesto and Eckersley’s Green State, I discuss the meaning and place of the anarchist value and strategy of mutual aid. I talk a bit about the origins of the concept of mutual aid, and some of the reasons why this idea is becoming popular now. … More Origins of “Mutual Aid” and Why It’s Getting Popular– Desert v Green State (3-Video)

Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert — Audio (2)

According to the anonymous author of Desert, even anarchists have been caught in the Enlightenment grand narrative of history as progress,and the “end of history” in some ideal future utopia. Though they disagree about the promise and value of state power, Desert and Robyn Eckersley (The Green State) both depart from “ideological possession.” Either explicitly (Desert) or implicitly (Eckersley), they reject the grand narrative and introduce a new openness to a pluralistic “good enough for now” perspective that may be more useful for actually making things better, incrementally. I continue to try to find areas of agreement as well as opposition between these two perspectives, because we need to compromise to survive. Can Desert find a place even within Eckersley’s vision–yes, because for both authors it’s not “all or nothing.” … More Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert — Audio (2)

Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert (2)

According to the anonymous author of Desert, even anarchists have been caught in the Enlightenment grand narrative of history as progress,and the “end of history” in some ideal future utopia. Though they disagree about the promise and value of state power, Desert and Robyn Eckersley (The Green State) both depart from “ideological possession.” Either explicitly (Desert) or implicitly (Eckersley), they reject the grand narrative and introduce a new openness to a pluralistic “good enough for now” perspective that may be more useful for actually making things better, incrementally. I continue to try to find areas of agreement as well as opposition between these two perspectives, because we need to compromise to survive. Can Desert find a place even within Eckersley’s vision–yes, because for both authors it’s not “all or nothing.” … More Escaping the End of History: Green State v. Desert (2)

Dry Bones

I heard a sermon this morning in which the pastor prayed that we would get back to normal as quickly as possible. He hoped that God would drive out the scourge of the virus and that we would be able to return to our lives. I found myself thinking, “I hope we don’t return to the way it was…we probably will…I wonder how long this would have to go on before we wouldn’t?” … More Dry Bones

State & Anarchy–Green State v. Desert Introduction (Audio 1)

In the midst of a huge challenge, the Coronavirus pandemic, I’m forcing a dialogue between two seemingly opposite ways of thinking–advocacy for the state as the most useful way to address global challenges such as climate change, and an anarchist view that is skeptical, to say the least, about the possibility of the proper use of state power. I’m drawing from the writings of Robyn Eckersley, a political scientist and author of The Green State, and the anonymous author of Desert, or the Desert Manifesto. … More State & Anarchy–Green State v. Desert Introduction (Audio 1)