Re: Origins of Political Beliefs

From: Francois-Rene Rideau (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 18:16:51 MDT

On Fri, Apr 27, 2001 at 12:10:18PM -0400, J. Hughes wrote:
> I'm a pomo-universalist when it comes to politics and values. I.e. I
> acknowledge that my politics and values are products of a particular time
> and place.
Which is so trivial an assertion as to be of no consequence whatsoever.
Yes, of course, we're all the product of our past, for some broad enough
meaning of "past". So what? I feel this assertion of yours is often used
as some kind of hidden excuse for one's utter lack of critical sense
as regard a particular, very narrow, part of one's past.
BTW, what's that "pomo-" prefix? "post-modernist"? no comment.

I reject your narrow social determinism.
My dad is a mildly socialist blasé; he was raised a fervent catholic
conservative by family and school, but faced some harsh realities of
french history, and grew to accept the socialist leaning of France.
My mom is a nationalist conservative living abroad; she was raised in
a vietnamese family torn between the tradition and modernity.
I'm a libertarian, having been raised a green-socialist at school,
like every good little frenchmen (and I was a _very_ good little frenchman,
at school and in front of the tv set).
So yes, my opinions are somehow the fruit of my past of being confronted
to lots of different opinions, with reason as my guide (both the
confrontation to the broadest variety of opinions and the critical eye
to have of them being happily encouraged by my family, despite its late
results of radically opposing both my parents in my opinions).
But then what? But then, among all the people's pasts, if one should
be more objective, it might precisely be one who's developed more
critical sense since the earlier stages of one's life, and applied it
to the broader base of hypotheses with the least a priori.

> But there is no certainty in values or politics,
Here's a loathable self-defeating statement.

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | ]
[ TUNES project for a Free Reflective Computing System | ]
Invoking relativism is only a hypocritical way to dismiss reason, with only
sheer force being left. It's abdication of reason, denial of everything that
makes the dignity of man.

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