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Political Science
Political Science 2231E
Nigmendra Narain

Critical Theory Wednesday November 7 2012 Frankfurt School (1950s) Names: Theodore Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Jurgen Habermas, Andrew Linklater  Capitalism= rationalization of modern existence= modernity - Secular authority - The State - Industrialization, industrial society - Massive economic systems and enterprises - Reliance on sci and tech to solve problems  Problem: instrumental means- end rationality= managerial technocratic politics - Knowledge= control  humans - IR theory= control= state  human  Non-capitalist states doing same: USSR, Cuba, China  not question „process‟  Question: why are working class (and others) not revolting? - Global consumerism= prevent emancipation= accumulation - Happiness through buying of more and more goods and services - Displaying of one‟s ability to accumulate - People are „consumers‟ above all else, especially „citizen‟ - Concept of the “citizen” is voided  Socialization through mass education system and mass media indoctrinating people to accept „truths‟ and not question their „exploitation‟  No inherent class consciousness- work specialists, part of global systems - International division of labour, underground eco; work one place, live another place (nannies) - Working class is not one mind or entity but variety of interests and mindsets- emancipation not only emerging from the working class, but also other social groups  Concept of the “citizen”= voided  fiction; preference for taxpayers and consumers and investors vs. students and homeless and poor Emancipation? - Ashley on knowledge: 1.Understand and extend control 2. Maintain order 3. Emancipation through identifying and removing unnecessary social confinements and constraints (Develop understanding of 1 and 2 in order to accomplish 3) - Linklater using Habermas: „ideal speech community‟= intersubjective dialogue to consider the other‟s perspective (wants, needs), not just self (self-interest, gain), in democratic processes (UN, Parliaments, etc.) Gramscians (1980) Names: Antonio Gramsci/ Robert Cox/Stephen Gill/ Craig Murphy  Importance of culture: how we think and how our culture limits our „sense of the possible‟  Gramsci‟s “common sense” - Ideology - Legitimacy (What becomes legitimated, naturalized, and enforced/coerced becomes common sense- Linked to ideology and legitimacy > hegemony) th Hegemony (4 type) Critical Theory Wednesday November 7 2012 - Not just economic nor military - One group‟s ideas dominate as the „correct‟ way to view the world or to take action - Combination of coercion (physical repression) and consensus (those who are dominated are given benefits for cooperating, and may agree to their domination) Supremacy: no longer require consensus element (Gill) - Globalization - Hegemony requires Historic Bloc: cohesive group sharing ideas, solving conflicts, able to act Providing for: - Dominant economic system - Values, concepts and descriptions to frame current „social reality‟ and alternatives - Hegemonic Historic Bloc- dominate materially (economy) & ideational thinking - Presently: transnational capitalist- managerial class (US, West, MNCs, IMF, etc.) - Counter-hegemonic historic bloc= oppose prevailing hegemony - Presently: international trade unions, NGOs, women‟s groups -Inequalities beyond class also need to be redressed - Emancipation? - Cox on IR theory: 1. Problem solving (no, but useful) 2. Critical (yes, but needs to analyze and act) - Counter-hegemonic bloc - Praxis - State  democratic and public control reasserted - Polanyi‟s double-movement Power: routinized managerial-technocratic system with a consumerist society State and power: Power= hegemonic ideas and social institutions (common sense) - Legitimizes system= ideology, power, etc.  some states dominant in this „hegemonic project‟= neoliberalism and imperialism - Crisis management approach is all that is left for state to do= financial crisis, economic bailout - Government cannot provide homes, food, etc. directly
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