Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Time for Conservative Critical Theory

When the Left invented their modern theory of justice the idea was that the bourgeoisie and their bribed apologists in the government were systematically exploiting the new working class.  So more government was needed to liberate the working class and curb the bourgeoisie.

After the experience of 20th century Bolvshevism and fascism some of the more advanced thinkers on the Left -- we call them the Frankfurt School --  developed a more nuanced picture of modern society.  Now the cognoscenti proposed that government and business in league together represented a hegemonic power, a system that dominated society with political and economic power, the administrative state, that was supported by corporate media shoveling ruling-class propaganda at the masses using mass media.

To Jürgen Habermas, the second generation Frankfurt chappie, the mass media represented a deformation of the development of public sphere as in the 18th century, what he called “Öffentlichkeit” culture.  Mass media is not the same as intellectuals arguing in coffee-houses.

If operational behavior and communicative action form two aspects of social life, labor and language, as Habermas develops in Theory of Communicative Action, then the political and economic domination form a third aspect, a deformation of social relations.  This domination and deformation creates a need for "critical theory" to emancipate "the social agent [you and me] of deeply engrained patterns of thought that constrain self-understanding."  Writes David Ingram in Habermas and the Dialectic of Reason, "With the advent of modern class society, however, it [the emancipatory interest] has increasingly become a survival interest."

Couldn't agree more, Jürgi and Dave.  Now, if we apply a truly modern concept of modern class society from a recent article from John Hayward in "The Real Class War" at RedState.com, we are finally getting somewhere.  Forget Upper Class, Lower Class, and Middle Class.  How about this?
There really is a class war in America today, but it’s not between any of these Marxist bumper cars. The three real classes are the Ruling Class, the Dependency Class, and Everyone Else.

The Dependency Class is by no means filled with poor people. Far from it. And the Ruling Class is not at all limited to elected officials. Lots of people are becoming dependent upon government power and money. Many of them are extremely wealthy. The Ruling Class depends on them for its power. Everything the Ruling Class does is designed to protect its own interests, and keep its favorite dependent constituents happy. Other priorities are secondary, if they count for anything at all.
So the critical theory, the emancipatory thrust, has to come from the Everyone Else class.

Look, this is not rocket science.  Let's go to another Jürgi, the Austrian Georg Jellinek and his "three element" theory of the state.  It needs ein Staatsgebiet, ein Staatsvolk, eine Staatsgewalt.  In English, this means: state territory, state subjects, and state power.

Golly, it looks like great minds think alike.  In my theory of the state we have an armed minority (the Ruling Class) ruling over a subject people in some territory.  It maintains itself in power by taking money from the subject people (Everyone Else) to give handouts to its supporters (the Dependency Class).

We, the Everyone Else class, need to develop a critical theory to critique and defeat the present Ruling Class and its supporters, the Dependency Class.  We need to emancipate ourselves "of deeply engrained patterns of thought that constrain self-understanding."  In other words we need to purge ourselves of the mass media memes that constantly issue from the Ruling Class and their bribed apologists in the mainstream media, and we need to develop and distribute new ideas of freedom and liberation and the social healing of civil society to end the reign of injustice from the Ruling Class and its hired thugs in the Dependency Class.

End of story.

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