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View Diary: The Ethic of (Ir)Responsibility (238 comments)

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  •  Why is it anti-intellectual to reject an argument? (none)
    I think you are equating my rejection of Weber and his incrementalism with an exhortation to reject European philosophy, which is not at all what I said.

    Maybe "taking political science lessons from the Germans" was a bit trite, but let's face facts, their record is not a good one.

    But further, let's explore the depth of German influence on American political thought.  Marx?  Virtually none.  Weber?  Americans are, at best, disinterested.  The greatest influence appears to be an economist who's name escapes me right now but who had a profound impact on Alexander Hamilton.  German political thought is alien to American political thought.

    And yes, I do believe in American exceptionalism.  More because of the New Frontier and a Place Called Hope than the City on the Hill, but I do believe in it.  Call me naive.

    •  Influence is Great (none)
      Do you know who translated and edited the collection from which that essay is drawn?

      C. Wright Mills.

      Last time I checked, he was credited with having a little bit of influence over the new left.

      The emigres' from fascism who came to the US and influenced American thought, such as Arendt, Neumann, Marcuse, Fromm, Critical Theory, American historians like Peter Gay, H. Stuart Hughes, George Mosse, Raul Hilberg, social scientists like Parsons, Wolfe, and others...the list goes on and on.

      Weber has had a HUGE influence over American social thought and theory.  

    •  I"m equating (4.00)
      intellectual nationalism with anti-intellectualism, which is what your opening statement indicates to me.

      I have no trouble with your argument (if it is that Madison is the more appropriate theorist).  I disagree, but wouldn't find that anti-intellectual.

      The presumption that only an American theorist can be applicable to the American political context is screamingly anti-intellectual because it completely misses the value of intellectual work.  

      "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

      by a gilas girl on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 03:40:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Taking lessons (none)
      Maybe "taking political science lessons from the Germans" was a bit trite, but let's face facts, their record is not a good one.

      I'd say that "taking political science lessons" from anyone is a useless exercise as political science is a useless endeavor (my own intellectual biases, which I gladly reveal and acknowledge). ;) But taking sociological or philosophical lessons from Germans is certainly not a bad path to follow, as many many truly brilliant thinkers have demonstrated.

      And, the fact that the German nation(s) have had such a "not good" political record, as you suggest, is in fact, a very good argument for taking their scholarship seriously, since, in a true intellectual tradition, examining the failures is the best way to understand how stuff works.  In an intellectually honest environment failure of a system is the best reason to listen to the intellectuals raised in that system, they have had the best laboratory for learning about the pheonomena.  

      "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

      by a gilas girl on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 03:46:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   A gilas girl! (none)
        As always, I couldn't agree with you more. You are saying everything I wish I could say to Ralph but don't have the energy to explore here.

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