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Re: <nettime> A Puff Piece on Wikipedia (Fwd)
Michael H Goldhaber on Mon, 6 Oct 2003 15:07:36 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> A Puff Piece on Wikipedia (Fwd)



Brian, the point of yours to which I was replying was not opposition to
consensus, but rather the implication that to oppose one must have anonymity.
That is not to suggest that current society is reasonable, liberal,
democratic, desirable, un-opposable or necessarily irreplaceable.

Kermit makes an important point in suggesting that Kelly is a Straussian,
which to me makes Kelly's assertions and explanations highly suspect,
reinforcing my previous doubts. Conservatives in the United States quite
thoroughly dominate political discourse, yet are continually proclaiming that
they are persecuted in the media, the academy and by "the elite," which
presumably justifies their conspiratorial and deceitful practices. Some
leftists have at times done much the same, although in the US their claims of
persecution have had a somewhat more solid foundation. Still, on either side,
too readily donning this mantle of persecution and using it as an excuse for
anonymity or for covering up one's real intent undermines any possibility of
genuine democracy, and must lead to a general and debilitating distrust
across the board.

In a state of such distrust there can be no real consensus, assuredly, but at
the same time honest dissent also becomes impossible. Derrida indicates that
utterances without ambiguity and at least unconscious double agendas are not
fully possible, but that is a quite different point, suggesting that
discourse can only possibly be workable when every effort is made to reveal
who one is and what one's interests are, as Kermit proposes we strive for.
The more anonymous the voice, the less the possibility for such self
revelation, and the more must be taken on faith.

Reasonably, within the precarious limits of reason, but not  contentedly,

Michael H. Goldhaber

Brian Holmes wrote:

>
>
> Similarly, Michael Goldhaber appears to me eminently reasonable, and
> perhaps lacking in historical imagination. Is a civilization like the
> current one replaceable? What could possibly motivate people to
> answer in the affirmative? Kermit Snelson's justifiable concern with
> the state of the Union, whether that lamentable state is attribuable
> to Leo Strauss or not, rather bears out the limits of Michael's
> reasonableness. For many years, worldly Americans have nodded their
> heads, quoted statistics, and pointed to demographic, economic, and
> psychosocial explanations that make the decay of our democracy appear
> quite plausible and "normal." And look where that has got us. On a
> road which appears, in many ways, to defy reason.
>
> still waiting for a little less consensus,
>
> Brian Holmes
>
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