Mouffe on Rawls’ Liberal Theory (Audio-4)

In this podcast I discuss Chantal Mouffe’s take on John Rawls’ version of liberal social contract theory. Mouffe is not impressed, ultimately, but she does want to take away the liberal respect for the dignity of the individual while strengthening the person as a citizen, member of community, embedded in the public context. Can she have both–and what dangers do we court when we try to have stronger citizenship and public participation. Can we escape what liberals feared–open conflict–when we try to have stronger democratic participation? The question hasn’t yet been answered by Mouffe, but her critique of Rawls lays the groundwork for her attempt to answer it. … More Mouffe on Rawls’ Liberal Theory (Audio-4)

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

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-Audio)

Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)

In this second in a series on Chantal Mouffe’s ideas in The Return of the Political, I discuss her use of Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and relate her ideas to authors she draws from, such as Leo Strauss, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer and Hans Georg Gadamer. I try to get an initial handle on her preferred “agonistic pluralism” as an answer to the question–can we respect particular values and traditions enough to compete with them rather than seeking to destroy them? I relate her line of argument to my understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of political ideology as “ideological possession” — the projection of the shadow. … More Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)

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

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-Audio)

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)

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

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-Audio)

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)

What’s a Time Bank (Audio)

This brief video discusses what a time bank is and some of the philosophy behind the idea, including the ideas of its founder Edgar Cahn. I became interested in the idea after reading Walter Brueggemann’s Another Kingdom. Time banks already exist in a lot of cities and towns. The URL below will take you to TimeBanks.org, which has everything you need to find out if you have one nearby or to start one up if you don’t. Time banks are one way that we can cooperate with each other without relying on the money economy.
https://timebanks.org/More What’s a Time Bank (Audio)