Norman Geras's work on the subject of Karl Marx's antisemitism involved significant dissent from the Marxist tradition in which he located himself, precisely because unvarnished honesty prevented him from glossing over the many troubling ideas and notions that, simply, are there. His Normblog demonstrated how Geras, as a Marxist, took on the shibboleths of the postmodern left, and in particular the relativism whose malign influence he had noted when writing his book on Marx's conception of human nature. 'The principle of self-emancipation', wrote Geras in 1971, 'is central, not incidental, to historical materialism.' This book shows how the materialist usage of 'powers of human nature', 'natural desires', 'natural character' play an important role in the formulation of Marx's theory of history. It explores Richard Rorty's various usages on the question of human nature and the tensions and anomalies as well as then theses on utopia. The book also reviews a fast-growing sector of the current literature on Karl Marx, i.e. whether Marx condemn capitalism in the light of any principle of justice, and the controversy that has fuelled its growth, and distinguishes three meanings (personal, intellectual and socio-political) of 'being a Marxist'. It discusses the significance of the Euston Manifesto, antisemitism on the left anti-Jewish stereotypes, and Marxism before the Holocaust. The book concludes with insights into the 9/11 incident, the principle of humanitarian intervention and international law for military intervention.
Extending the critique of Bauman’s first exposition of postmodernity and postmodernism
modernism in literature, refer to the ‘pluralistic method’
and the ‘relativism and perspectivism’ of modernism. It is clear
that their delineation of modernism sees it as definitely breaking
with the traditional view of the Enlightenment p
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Living with postmodernity
epistemology, as interpreted also by Bauman, where only one
perspective could be seen as right – an interpretation of the
Enlightenment that I have questioned, but for present purposes
my critique is not relevant – and the task was
epistemological debate between various forms of foundationalism and anti-foundationalism. It seems impossible to entirely avoid situating one’s efforts to grapple with the questions raised by systemically inflicted injury on that particular compass, so that if one is not anchored on one side of the debate there is an inexorable slide along the well-travelled path towards the other pole. Yet this chapter is shaped by a profound reserve concerning the debate between universalism and cultural relativism. This reserve is not the natural impatience with reflection expressed by some
’s acute awareness of where these shifts were headed on the political left – the moral relativism that brooked no difference between the Ba’athist tyranny in Iraq and the democratic republic that is the United States, an increasing stench of antisemitism, a growing tendency to turn to conspiracy theories as a means of explanation – led him, during the last decade of his life, to dedicate more of his time and energy to blogging, alongside his academic endeavours.
When Normblog launched, on 28 July 2003, it did so with a bang: posts on Iraq, on other bloggers, quotations
Comparing and contrasting propaganda in Serbia and Croatia from 1986 to 1999, this book analyses each group's contemporary interpretations of history and current events. It offers a detailed discussion of Holocaust imagery and the history of victim-centred writing in nationalist theory, including the links between the comparative genocide debate, the so-called Holocaust industry, and Serbian and Croatian nationalism. There is a detailed analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda over the Internet, detailing how and why the Internet war was as important as the ground wars in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, and a theme-by-theme analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda, using contemporary media sources, novels, academic works and journals.
meaning of place-identity as
interpreted from different viewpoints, including those of ordinary home-dwellers,
academics, literary figures and architectural critics and theorists. The marked differences in the meanings attached to spaces and places by both inhabitants and observers
lead in turn to a discussion of cultural relativism, as argued by prominent linguists
and anthropologists. The early influence of Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology
on the idea of place in architectural theory is also discussed, paving the way for an
overview of related approaches by later
relativism. It is easy to
understand why such a trend has arisen; and it is understandable that
many feel quite deeply about it. But the German Romantics, tellingly,
were not democrats, and did not have to worry about how to fit their
ideas within a democratic framework. We are democrats; and we should
worry about this fit. Contemporary attempts to bring
‘meaningfulness’ to democracy through the use of
in this book.
Ethics and the question of ‘good drama’
As I have already indicated, I very much agree with many of
Nelson’s arguments and approaches. Like Nelson, in this book
I have been concerned to contest ideas, in circulation within modernism and gaining increasing currency within some postmodernisms of the 1990s, that certain aesthetic strategies can be
regarded as ‘monolithic’, and/or can be assumed in advance to be
‘inherently’ progressive or reactionary. Like Nelson, I also wish to
critique tendencies towards relativism that often occur in both
componentiality [ sic ] of objects, the reproducibility of actions [and] the expectation of constant change in our exploitation of the material world’. 23 Technological consciousness is not the same thing as science; it is rather a mentality which tends to suspend, subvert or place in a rational straitjacket the styles of thinking required by spiritual, supernatural or metaphysical knowledge.
The most ironic intellectual consequence of religious fragmentation and technological consciousness is the final emergence of relativism in the early twentieth