Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Habermas and the global metropolitan lattice



Today, Jürgen Habermas again rightly stresses need for greater German solidarity with the EU Project. Obviously, “the increasing functional interdependence of a more and more integrated world society” causes need for new ways to understand cooperation, coordination, and collaboration.

But he steers away from appeals for more bilateral relations that, in his view, “will drive the European countries even farther apart.” But perhaps arrays of bilateral relations can be coordinated more constructively within the Europe2020 Project than more-centralized coordinations.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

educational leadership for continental union



“…Berlin’s failure to seize a new European initiative of 'real solidarity' and European financial redistribution would, [Habermas] warned, bring down the union. ‘We don’t have much time,’ warned the 87-year-old…”

The elusiveness of international solidarity in the EU has haunted Habermas' conceptual work, as well as haunting prospects for "political integration" (an EU Constitutional Order?). But the heart of the issue is peculiar to each nation: How to understand one's deeply historical ethnicity (linguistic nationality, regionality) as congruent with a euro-based continental region that “should” become a continental community.

What is “being European” apart from a market? A provincial citizen asks: Why be “European” other than supporting a euro-based market?

Continental community cannot be legislated. Scholars of Habermas’s work may tend to forget that his work has always been about the grassroots origin of society through its communicative flourishing.

But reason for high-scale community is only as good as one's sense of scale of one's own belonging. This is a local issue in every locality (then regional issue in every region). It could be that the future of the Union as continental community is a matter of creative educational leadership in all localities and at all social levels. Especially needed is a conception of political leadership (at all levels) that is educational.

This continues my interest in issues of solidarity and global condition of continentalism.

for a humanistic politics of mindful belonging



My early March update turned out to be a two-part sketch (below the line or “Read more”), premised on the coincidence of a theology student’s performance just before I intended to write a note about politics. I don’t mind that a sense of spirituality is thought to background a sense of humanism. That’s fair to a reader not much interested in philosophy or public policy. But it was an improvisation. Presently, I don’t have time to get more insightful or useful; so, I’ve reproduced that two-part thing as two sections of this posting, looking forward to mid-April.


Friday, March 3, 2017

the Trump show in American government



My title here might serve to label a long story to come: Trump playing president within the estate of USAmerican government that overwhelms him, profoundly preceding him, and destined to contain him, if not cause his disappearance from his stage.

That could be a great story of how government successfully constrains tendencies toward authoritarianism.

Friday, February 3, 2017

note to the EU President
—and some philosophical context



Earlier this week, I sent a message to the President of the European Union—seriously. I did it seriously. Of course, it’s comical to think that I reached anyone beyond a clerical screener. But the act will be useful for later discussion online.

I responded to a letter to EU heads of state by Donald Tusk that was posted for public purusal on the EU Council home page (link upcoming). The EU President was expressing very well the spirit of need for EU solidarity in facing immanent challenges. But he was invalidly equating (1) the travesty of Trump playing autocrat and (2) a general threat to U.S.-E.U. relations, as if The Donald has general public support. So, why not share my view of the matter, as a student of European affairs who can speak for the American situation validly?

Friday, January 6, 2017

entertaining the Don daze: the U.S. presidency
as “reality” TV



The point of this is just to summarize my attitude toward the upcoming Trump presidency, if you want my opinion. Then, I want to leave this behind and write online this year about what interests me, which I’m not quite ready to do, but I’m close; another couple of weeks at the most.

To me, the emerging reality of the Trump presidency is more insulting by the day. Trump was not legitimately elected, as I'll detail later here. But I’m reassured by the lucidity of leading journalism about what’s happening (e.g., the NYTimes Editorial Board yesterday).

Persons outside the U.S. shouldn’t worry that Trump will be able to cause international havoc, because he can’t ignore reality putting itself in his face. (If you haven’t seen that video, you must at least see minutes 2:00 through 6:30 about the prospect that The Donald ran for president not because he cared to do anything good for anyone, but because he’s a narcissist who simply sought revenge—and continues to do so, even this day.) As Vice President Biden said yesterday, Trump should “grow up.” And today, no one seems to be blaming Biden for saying that.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

philosopher acting as public intellectual



Habermas: A Biography
by Stefan Muller-Doohm
Polity Press, 2016

This is now available (Sept. 29), but I’ve received it only today. I’ve read the author’s “Epilogue: Habermas’s Inner Compass” carefully. I want to comment relative to that notion and my own decades of experience with Habermas’s work, but I’m not yet directly addressing the author’s misled sense of “inner compass.”