Bush, NoW

Gordon Fitch gcf at panix.com
Sun Aug 6 07:23:13 PDT 2000

Jim heartfield:
> The Week
> ending 6 August 2000
> ...
> Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger made 'care' central to his preferred
> relationship of people to state. Care was a value that trumped
> individual rights, allowed the state to assume responsibility for
> guiding personal behaviour. In the 1970s environmentalists revived the
> 'care' principal as in care for nature, the vorsorge, or 'precautionary
> principal'. It stated that nothing should be done that was not proven to
> be safe. The idea that there is a higher value to which we must submit
> is a useful way for states to subordinate the rights of individuals.
> ...

I don't know if it is accurate in this context to characterize Heidegger as a "Nazi philosopher" even if he was (1) a Nazi and (2) a philosopher. The idea that the State is based on affection goes back at least to _The_City_of_God_, direly evil as the idea may be.

In any case, environmentalism does not require this; it can be a very cool consideration of the plain fact that we're all stuck in the environment, and what one does to it may have a significant effect on the material interests of another. The most classical of liberals could think that there was a need to restrain reckless experiments and modifications. For them, it would not be a case of subordinating the rights of the individual to the State but of recognizing the rights and interests of other individuals in common property.

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