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Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not...
sascha brossmann on Sat, 18 Feb 2006 22:28:28 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not...


On Wed, Feb 15, 2006 at 06:29:00PM -0500, Jody Berland wrote:
> Freedom of speech amounts to a kind of religion in American
> culture. It is only useful to term it a religion if you
> acknowledge that it is a civilizational ideal and political
> common sense for American culture the same way other kinds of
> beliefs are for other cultures.

your focus lacks orientation as much as your argumentation lacks insight.
freedom of speech is not of american origin but mainly a genuine product of
enlightenment, part of which was exported to america and since remained of some
value there, despite the hordes of fundamentalist religious nuts who arrived at
nearly the same time.

> If the free speech advocates were acknowledging that theirs
> is a specific political ideology (...) i.e. specific to the
> historical formation of the American subject,

plain and simple: bollocks. see above and below.

> it would be easier to find a way to discuss these issues with
> others with different political formations. (...) It's not that
> I think an ideal dialogue of rational understanding is always or
> necessarily possible, but this lack of geopolitical reflexivity
> on the part of people saying free speech is always, necessarily
> and absolutely a higher value than all other values, is giving
> me a pain.

oh yeah, sure, and while we're at it, let's discuss the whole imperialist
catalogue of human rights or just toss that crap right away, because everything
is oh so relative in the end, and who would dare to judge. tell you what: i do.
actually, i don't think that you really know what you're saying there. for some
more clarity, please substitute "free speech" with any other human right in its
neighbourhood. in case you forgot: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html --
may i cite?

    Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
    this right includes freedom to hold opinions without
    interference and to seek, receive and impart information and
    ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

the basic fault in the short-witted argument of cultural
relativity is the hidden assumption, that all practiced concepts
are of equal worth and value. i disagree. and so did the general
assembly of the UN that proclaimed upmentioned declaration.
there's a word in the title that is quite telling. it reads
"universal". go figure.

> Let's have some global self-awareness here.

oh, i think we do. you just don't recognise it.

when this thread started i was already unpleasantly touched, but
meanwhile it is getting tremendously atrocious. if one takes
a look back towards the origins of this list, it is rather
unbelievable.


sascha
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