Friday, September 19, 2008

Hopes and spheres

Capitalism, says Jurgen Habermas, "promotes a pattern
of rationalization such that cognitive-instrumental
rationality penetrates beyond the economy and state
into other spheres of life and there enjoys a pre-eminence
at the expense of moral-practical and aesthetic-practical
rationality."

You'd better believe it. Habermas calls this process the
"colonization of the lifeworld."

In the view of Andre Gorz, it's this domination by economic
rationality that defines capitalism—not the existence per se
of an economic sphere governed by the logic of profitability
and competition. "It is the abolition of that domination, not
the abolition of capital and the market," writes Gorz,
"which will mark our passing beyond capitalism...a society
becomes socialist when the social relations shaped by the
economic rationality of capital come to occupy only a
subordinate place in relation to non-quantifiable values and
goals, and, in consequence, in the life of society and in each
person’s life, economically rational work is merely one
activity among others of equal importance.”

Remember this when the headlines scream NIGHTMARE ON
WALL STREET!
and FINANCIAL CARNAGE.

1 comment:

pdogge said...

You will also probably recall John Kenneth Galbraith´s qoute : ¨The modern conservative is engaged in one of man´s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.¨ I do enjoy your blog