So I gave a lecture on the problems of liberalism to the law school of Benito Jaurez in Oaxaca. Here is a school that reads Rawls and even has a professor who has written a book length account in Spanish of Rawls. They are good academics, but they are not persuaded by Rawls’ truth

When I heard that they read Rawls in Mexico, I was flabbergasted. I was taken aback if only for the reason that I have always wondered why anyone in the U.S.A. ever took this guy seriously. But they do—both in Mexican law schools and in the U.S.A.

Rawls develops an elaborate argument (what with the veil of ignorance and the difference principle) of procedure to end up where he wants his argument to end up as “justice as fairness.” It is the most complicated version of wishful thinking dressed up as deep analysis that I have ever encountered. The priority of the “right” to the “good” still ends up in what Allan Bloom, in reference to a Theory of Justice, called a First Philosophy of the Last Man—and this critique is even more true when Rawls rewrote his theory to meet the challenge of its inevitable ethnocentrism (and in terms of the devastating critique) that Richard Rorty made in his essay regarding the priority of democracy to philosophy. Rorty’s essay led to arguments regarding the historical contingency of the free and equal self living in terms of a “political not metaphysical” ‘modus vivendi’ and ‘overlapping consensus ‘ that the late Rawls adumbrated in Political Liberalism.

After giving a lecture about the Locke that was wholly outside a “locked box” and the Rawls which justifies a creepy individualism which nonetheless surreptitiously introduces the “communitarian restraints” of “public reason,” it turns out that the Mexican scholars were just as skeptical of the rational soundness of the liberal “theory” of justice as fairness in its abstraction as they were skeptical of its actual practicality. Whether stated in terms of a “state of nature” or an “original position,” the liberalism of free and equal individuals has serious historical, cultural and political impediments to its implementation in Mexico—even on the level of theoretical understanding.

Unlike the U.S.A. and its “equality of conditions” as Tocqueville describes it, Mexico was founded in service of the religious and economic ambitions of the Spanish empire. One should read the biased (but true) histories of Bernal Diaz and W.H. Prescott on this issue, and then compare them to John Winthrop’s sermon aboard the Arabella—“A Model of Christian Charity.”

One could say that Mexico, in its thumos, is simply avoiding the inevitability of history. But the students at the Benito Juarez school of law seem to be quite okay with a society comprised of a civil service that serves a lower class that ironically believes in the possibilities of free and equal individuals of modern “bourgeois,” “capitalist” liberal society. Mexico gives credence to the Marxist idea that the expertise of the administrative and regulatory state exists in order to keep the “working class” down. But calling the indigenous peoples (e.g., Zapoteca and Mixteca) working class is asinine. For all of its modernity (and the high hopes of a “cosmic race” found in the writings of Jose Vasconcelos), the ‘Mexican Revolution’ has not brought about a worthy political order for a nation in terms of justice.

The irony is that the students who have availed themselves of the rigorous and difficult state sponsored education—and who therefore see good reasons for spending their lives dealing with cases contributing ito the common good—find themselves confronted with an indigenous population that hopes to enter into a society of liberalism and its attendant individualism and crass materialism.

So one would think that Mexico is a place open to the teachings of postmodern conservatism, in that “pomocon-ism “ is skeptical of overly abstract considerations of modernity and liberalism. But this would require a history of local self government, which the “Zapatistas” in Chiapas have attempted to establish for themselves. Our friends at the Front Porch Republic ought to investigate the “Zapatistas.” But they would also have to reckon with the troubled history of Christianity in this country. In Mexico, you have an official and legal “laiciudad” coupled with a syncretism that is indicative of the native peoples. This laicuidad and syncretism speaks beyond the possibility of human persons in relation to each other as family members, fellow union members, or even Mexican citizens. Laicuidad and syncretism lead to confusion and ultimately to the typical individualism found in the much more “bourgeois” society like the U.S.A.

A deeply pious people in Mexico is nonetheless a confused people regarding the complexities of the theological-political issue—not that there is an easy solution to this problem. When Bernal Diaz speaks of Hernan Cortes destroying the idols and ways of the people of Mexico 500 years ago—(in a way similar to the account given by Herodotus of Cambyses in Egypt—and no matter how disgusting their idolatry may have been)—one must wonder of the effects and possibility of persuasion regarding the truth of persons in deep and traditional relations with each other. In Oaxaca, San Pablo is always shown holding the “book” but also holding the sword. This image represents the paradox of persuasion.

The Mexican Revolution, for all of its popular advocacy in the writings of John Reed, may have simply carried this march of modernity even further> The revolution was as abstract in terms of positivism (already a force during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz) and modern socialism as Cortes..

So it is good that Mexicans recognize Rawlsianism as the empty abstraction that it is—an empty abstraction that leads to a conformity in emptiness. Mexico has huge problems. Most of the Oaxacanos spoke in a language that would make “porchers” proud, but even they know that they have to grapple with the political and technological forces that often make “porcherism” resemble mere nostalgia.

So I gave a lecture on the problems of liberalism to the law school of Benito Jaurez in Oaxaca. Here is a school that reads Rawls and even has a professor who has written a book length account in Spanish of Rawls. They are good academics, but they are not persuaded by Rawls’ truth

When I heard that they read Rawls in Mexico, I was flabbergasted. I was taken aback if only for the reason that I have always wondered why anyone in the U.S.A. ever took this guy seriously. But they do—both in Mexican law schools and in the U.S.A.

Rawls develops an elaborate argument (what with the veil of ignorance and the difference principle) of procedure to end up where he wants his argument to end up as “justice as fairness.” It is the most complicated version of wishful thinking dressed up as deep analysis that I have ever encountered. The priority of the “right” to the “good” still ends up in what Allan Bloom, in reference to a Theory of Justice, called a First Philosophy of the Last Man—and this critique is even more true when Rawls rewrote his theory to meet the challenge of its inevitable ethnocentrism (and in terms of the devastating critique) that Richard Rorty made in his essay regarding the priority of democracy to philosophy. Rorty’s essay led to arguments regarding the historical contingency of the free and equal self living in terms of a “political not metaphysical” ‘modus vivendi’ and ‘overlapping consensus ‘ that the late Rawls adumbrated in Political Liberalism.

After giving a lecture about the Locke that was wholly outside a “locked box” and the Rawls which justifies a creepy individualism which nonetheless surreptitiously introduces the “communitarian restraints” of “public reason,” it turns out that the Mexican scholars were just as skeptical of the rational soundness of the liberal “theory” of justice as fairness in its abstraction as they were skeptical of its actual practicality. Whether stated in terms of a “state of nature” or an “original position,” the liberalism of free and equal individuals has serious historical, cultural and political impediments to its implementation in Mexico—even on the level of theoretical understanding.

Unlike the U.S.A. and its “equality of conditions” as Tocqueville describes it, Mexico was founded in service of the religious and economic ambitions of the Spanish empire. One should read the biased (but true) histories of Bernal Diaz and W.H. Prescott on this issue, and then compare them to John Winthrop’s sermon aboard the Arabella—“A Model of Christian Charity.”

One could say that Mexico, in its thumos, is simply avoiding the inevitability of history. But the students at the Benito Juarez school of law seem to be quite okay with a society comprised of a civil service that serves a lower class that ironically believes in the possibilities of free and equal individuals of modern “bourgeois,” “capitalist” liberal society. Mexico gives credence to the Marxist idea that the expertise of the administrative and regulatory state exists in order to keep the “working class” down. But calling the indigenous peoples (e.g., Zapoteca and Mixteca) working class is asinine. For all of its modernity (and the high hopes of a “cosmic race” found in the writings of Jose Vasconcelos), the ‘Mexican Revolution’ has not brought about a worthy political order for a nation in terms of justice.

The irony is that the students who have availed themselves of the rigorous and difficult state sponsored education—and who therefore see good reasons for spending their lives dealing with cases contributing ito the common good—find themselves confronted with an indigenous population that hopes to enter into a society of liberalism and its attendant individualism and crass materialism.

So one would think that Mexico is a place open to the teachings of postmodern conservatism, in that “pomocon-ism “ is skeptical of overly abstract considerations of modernity and liberalism. But this would require a history of local self government, which the “Zapatistas” in Chiapas have attempted to establish for themselves. Our friends at the Front Porch Republic ought to investigate the “Zapatistas.” But they would also have to reckon with the troubled history of Christianity in this country. In Mexico, you have an official and legal “laiciudad” coupled with a syncretism that is indicative of the native peoples. This laicuidad and syncretism speaks beyond the possibility of human persons in relation to each other as family members, fellow union members, or even Mexican citizens. Laicuidad and syncretism lead to confusion and ultimately to the typical individualism found in the much more “bourgeois” society like the U.S.A.

A deeply pious people in Mexico is nonetheless a confused people regarding the complexities of the theological-political issue—not that there is an easy solution to this problem. When Bernal Diaz speaks of Hernan Cortes destroying the idols and ways of the people of Mexico 500 years ago—(in a way similar to the account given by Herodotus of Cambyses in Egypt—and no matter how disgusting their idolatry may have been)—one must wonder of the effects and possibility of persuasion regarding the truth of persons in deep and traditional relations with each other. In Oaxaca, San Pablo is always shown holding the “book” but also holding the sword. This image represents the paradox of persuasion.

The Mexican Revolution, for all of its popular advocacy in the writings of John Reed, may have simply carried this march of modernity even further> The revolution was as abstract in terms of positivism (already a force during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz) and modern socialism as Cortes..

So it is good that Mexicans recognize Rawlsianism as the empty abstraction that it is—an empty abstraction that leads to a conformity in emptiness. Mexico has huge problems. Most of the Oaxacanos spoke in a language that would make “porchers” proud, but even they know that they have to grapple with the political and technological forces that often make “porcherism” resemble mere nostalgia.

So I gave a lecture on the problems of liberalism to the law school of Benito Jaurez in Oaxaca. Here is a school that reads Rawls and even has a professor who has written a book length account in Spanish of Rawls. They are good academics, but they are not persuaded by Rawls’ truth

When I heard that they read Rawls in Mexico, I was flabbergasted. I was taken aback if only for the reason that I have always wondered why anyone in the U.S.A. ever took this guy seriously. But they do—both in Mexican law schools and in the U.S.A.

Rawls develops an elaborate argument (what with the veil of ignorance and the difference principle) of procedure to end up where he wants his argument to end up as “justice as fairness.” It is the most complicated version of wishful thinking dressed up as deep analysis that I have ever encountered. The priority of the “right” to the “good” still ends up in what Allan Bloom, in reference to a Theory of Justice, called a First Philosophy of the Last Man—and this critique is even more true when Rawls rewrote his theory to meet the challenge of its inevitable ethnocentrism (and in terms of the devastating critique) that Richard Rorty made in his essay regarding the priority of democracy to philosophy. Rorty’s essay led to arguments regarding the historical contingency of the free and equal self living in terms of a “political not metaphysical” ‘modus vivendi’ and ‘overlapping consensus ‘ that the late Rawls adumbrated in Political Liberalism.

After giving a lecture about the Locke that was wholly outside a “locked box” and the Rawls which justifies a creepy individualism which nonetheless surreptitiously introduces the “communitarian restraints” of “public reason,” it turns out that the Mexican scholars were just as skeptical of the rational soundness of the liberal “theory” of justice as fairness in its abstraction as they were skeptical of its actual practicality. Whether stated in terms of a “state of nature” or an “original position,” the liberalism of free and equal individuals has serious historical, cultural and political impediments to its implementation in Mexico—even on the level of theoretical understanding.

Unlike the U.S.A. and its “equality of conditions” as Tocqueville describes it, Mexico was founded in service of the religious and economic ambitions of the Spanish empire. One should read the biased (but true) histories of Bernal Diaz and W.H. Prescott on this issue, and then compare them to John Winthrop’s sermon aboard the Arabella—“A Model of Christian Charity.”

One could say that Mexico, in its thumos, is simply avoiding the inevitability of history. But the students at the Benito Juarez school of law seem to be quite okay with a society comprised of a civil service that serves a lower class that ironically believes in the possibilities of free and equal individuals of modern “bourgeois,” “capitalist” liberal society. Mexico gives credence to the Marxist idea that the expertise of the administrative and regulatory state exists in order to keep the “working class” down. But calling the indigenous peoples (e.g., Zapoteca and Mixteca) working class is asinine. For all of its modernity (and the high hopes of a “cosmic race” found in the writings of Jose Vasconcelos), the ‘Mexican Revolution’ has not brought about a worthy political order for a nation in terms of justice.

The irony is that the students who have availed themselves of the rigorous and difficult state sponsored education—and who therefore see good reasons for spending their lives dealing with cases contributing ito the common good—find themselves confronted with an indigenous population that hopes to enter into a society of liberalism and its attendant individualism and crass materialism.

So one would think that Mexico is a place open to the teachings of postmodern conservatism, in that “pomocon-ism “ is skeptical of overly abstract considerations of modernity and liberalism. But this would require a history of local self government, which the “Zapatistas” in Chiapas have attempted to establish for themselves. Our friends at the Front Porch Republic ought to investigate the “Zapatistas.” But they would also have to reckon with the troubled history of Christianity in this country. In Mexico, you have an official and legal “laiciudad” coupled with a syncretism that is indicative of the native peoples. This laicuidad and syncretism speaks beyond the possibility of human persons in relation to each other as family members, fellow union members, or even Mexican citizens. Laicuidad and syncretism lead to confusion and ultimately to the typical individualism found in the much more “bourgeois” society like the U.S.A.

A deeply pious people in Mexico is nonetheless a confused people regarding the complexities of the theological-political issue—not that there is an easy solution to this problem. When Bernal Diaz speaks of Hernan Cortes destroying the idols and ways of the people of Mexico 500 years ago—(in a way similar to the account given by Herodotus of Cambyses in Egypt—and no matter how disgusting their idolatry may have been)—one must wonder of the effects and possibility of persuasion regarding the truth of persons in deep and traditional relations with each other. In Oaxaca, San Pablo is always shown holding the “book” but also holding the sword. This image represents the paradox of persuasion.

The Mexican Revolution, for all of its popular advocacy in the writings of John Reed, may have simply carried this march of modernity even further> The revolution was as abstract in terms of positivism (already a force during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz) and modern socialism as Cortes..

So it is good that Mexicans recognize Rawlsianism as the empty abstraction that it is—an empty abstraction that leads to a conformity in emptiness. Mexico has huge problems. Most of the Oaxacanos spoke in a language that would make “porchers” proud, but even they know that they have to grapple with the political and technological forces that often make “porcherism” resemble mere nostalgia.

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