[lbo-talk] The Arch Quotes Bhaskar

Ismail Lagardien ilagardien at yahoo.com
Sat May 5 13:18:38 PDT 2007

Okay, since I am kind of a Critical Realist... I read this and was gobsmacked!!!


"Liberty is more than consumer choice; and it is also more than irony. The

British Marxist philosopher, Roy Bhaskar, in a detailed critique of the

liberal constructivism of Richard Rorty, notes that once we have identified

the sources of injustice or cruelty or social stagnation, once we have

formulated a language in which to think about them, we are bound to be

involved, like it or not, in an incipient process of public change - 'action

rationally directed to transforming, dissolving or disconnecting the

structures and relations which explain the experience of injustice'

(Philosophy and the Idea of Freedom, Oxford 1991, p.72). Shifts in language

and explanation that arise in the wake of critical understanding are bound

to make different kinds of action and therefore different kinds of decision

possible. Not to act in the public sphere in consequence of such new

possibilities is to make an active choice for stagnation. If ironic

redescription is no more than words it is not really ironic at all; it

remains dependent on the systems and power-relations it claims to


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