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Belonging to Spontaneous Order

Hayek, Pluralism, Democracy

Stephanie Erev

Reading Friedrich Hayek’s late work as a neoliberal myth of the state of nature, this article finds neoliberalism’s hostilities to democracy to be animated in part by a romantic demand for belonging. Hayek’s theory of spontaneous order expresses this desire for belonging as it pretends the market is capable of harmonizing differences so long as the state is prevented from interfering. Approaching Hayek’s work in this way helps to explain why his conceptions of both pluralism and democracy are so thin. It also suggests that neoliberalism’s assaults upon democracy are intimately linked to its relentless extractivism. Yet the romantic elements in Hayek’s work might have led him toward a more radical democratic project and ecological politics had he affirmed plurality for what it enables. I conclude with the suggestion that democratic theory can benefit from learning to listen to what Hayek heard but failed to affirm: nature’s active voice.

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Leon Roth

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Staff, Ladies and Gentlemen, We, plain and simple members of the Anglo-Jewish Community, are gathered here today to congratulate the Association of Synagogues on a signal act of faith. For the opening here and now, in London, in 1956, of a Jewish Theological College, is nothing less than an act of faith, faith in the continuance of Anglo-Jewry, faith in the value of a college, faith in the existence of Jewish Theology. It is to my mind not only a great, but an astonishing, act, and I find it the more astonishing in that it is an act of affirmation; and since the contemporary Jewish scene is in many respects not one of affirmation but of abdication, each element in this triple affirmation invites emphasis.

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Paolo Bellucci, Marco Maraffi and Paolo Segatti

The first Congress of the Democrats of the Left (DS), which took

place in Turin 13-16 January 2000, represented another stop in the

transformation of the former Italian Communists (PCI). The new

leader of the party – Walter Vetroni who followed Achille Occhetto

and Massimo D’Alema – tried to change the party’s politics, organization,

and culture. He planned these alterations to affirm a new

political strategy.

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Paul R. Mendes-Flohr

This article challenges the view that religious tolerance is promoted by affirming what the respective faith communities have in common. Rather, it proposes that genuine interfaith dialogue acknowledges difference and celebrates our distinctive paths to the life of the spirit as refracting our shared humanity.

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Larry Busk

This article considers Sartre's perspective on political violence with reference to his 1948 play Dirty Hands. Focusing on the concrete political questions that confronted Sartre in his context, it traces the development and result of conversations with Merleau-Ponty, Camus and the Marxist tradition that shaped his thinking on this subject. At the end of this dialectical process, Sartre arrived at a position that refused both bourgeois humanism, with its disavowal of political violence, and what is here termed Official Communism – the prevailing Manichean politics of his day and the institutionalized repression that went along with it. In other words, he affirmed the violence of the political without by that token affirming the politics of violence. It is argued here that these conversations and this conclusion are dramatically illustrated in Dirty Hands.

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Disharmonious Continuity

Critiquing Presence with Sartre and Derrida

Gavin Rae

The traditional interpretation of the Sartre-Derrida relationship follows their own insistence that they are separated by a certain irreducible distance. Contemporary research has, however, questioned that assessment, mainly by reassessing the thought of Sartre to picture him as a precursor to poststructuralism/deconstruction. This article takes off from this stance to suggest that Sartre and Derrida are partners against a common enemy—ontological presence— but develop different paths to overcome it: Sartre affirming nothingness and Derrida affirming différance. While much work has been done on these concepts, they have rarely been used as the exclusive means through which to engage with the Sartre-Derrida relationship. Focusing on them reveals that while Sartrean nothingness and Derridean différance are oriented against ontological presence, the latter entails a radicalization of the former. Their relationship is not then one of opposition but rather one of disharmonious continuity.

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'Tensile Nationality'

National Identity as an Everyday Way of Being in a Scottish Hospital

Nigel Rapport

This article reports on research undertaken in a Scottish hospital on the theme of national identity, specifically Scottishness. It examines the ways and extents to which Scottishness was expressed in the workplace: as a quotidian aspect of individual and institutional identity, in a situation of high-pro file political change. The research was to situate nationality as a naturally occurring 'language-game': to explore everyday speech-acts which deployed reference to nationality/Scottishness and compare these to other kinds of overt affirmation of identity and other speech-acts when no such identity-affirmations were ostensibly made. In a contemporary Scottish setting where the inauguration of a new Parliament has made national identity a prominent aspect of public debate, the research illuminates the place of nationality amid a complex of workaday language-games and examines the status of national identity as a 'public event'.

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La Situation Coloniale

Ancien Concept, Nouvelle Réalité

George Balandier

Élaborer une théorie de la situation coloniale, et la publier par la médiation des Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie, prenait en 1951 dans le contexte français l’aspect d’une triple provocation. Le texte était reçu comme la critique des tentatives de refaire un espace impérial fissuré par les épreuves de la seconde guerre mondiale, comme une affirmation de solidarité politique avec les artisans de la décolonisation, ce qui se trouvait confirmé par mes engagements, par mes relations avec les initiateurs des indépendances africaines.

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Benedict O'Donohoe

Sartre's Resistance myth, The Flies (1943), and Camus's contemporaneous modern tragedy, The Misunderstanding (1944), show remarkable similarities in conception, composition, themes, characters, relationships and intrigue. However, from the moment when the plots converge—each protagonist choosing to remain in his precarious new situation—they also diverge diametrically: Camus's Jan is doomed to reified passivity and death; Sartre's Oreste is galvanised into decisive action and new life. Does Camus's orientation toward nihilistic despair translate a negative assessment of his war-time role as an intellectual, and Sartre's much more positive disposition equally represent his affirmation of writing as a valid resistance activity?

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Dennis Brown

This issue of Critical Survey seeks to affirm the importance of contemporary poetry. For poetry can make something ‘happen’ – in the sphere of intersubjective awareness, of intelligence, of general ideology. That is not ‘nothing’. As guest editor, I am grateful to academic colleagues and featured poets alike for making this edition possible. The focus here is on British poetry written by men. Although the articles do not engage directly with a recent interest in ‘Masculinities’, it is implicit that poetic exploration of what it is to be gendered male is an important issue.