Download Biopolitics and International Values. Investigating Liberal by Ralph Pettman PDF

By Ralph Pettman

ISBN-10: 0080263283

ISBN-13: 9780080263281

ISBN-10: 0080263291

ISBN-13: 9780080263298

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Extra info for Biopolitics and International Values. Investigating Liberal Norms

Example text

We put up with this, however, if only because abstract concepts are necessary and useful; if only because our actual experience of what they try to describe is more compelling than the failure to find unambiguous references for them in the real world. 35 36 Biopolitics and International Values The problem of language will always remain, as will its capacity to both mislead and inform. When we choose words that help defend the indefensible; when our euphemisms and cant phrases are used to suck the sting out of what we have to say, then confusion follows and the truth becomes that much more obscure.

When we use the word fraternity, we signify human relationships analogous to the nurturing ones we find within the family, to all the sharing and caring and filial affection that kin loyalty is supposed to involve. Fraternity implies a feeling of affinity. It emphasizes those qualities we share with other people rather than those we do not. When we call something by this name, we are trying to give some sense of what is felt to be a natural human propensity for society and for dependence on others; a preference for intimacy, that is, rather than isolation.

The right relation of each to each, its theorists argue, is one of "union, harmony, brotherhood, common sharing, [and] mutual 13 h e l p . " Marx considered human nature to be creatively conscious and active, qualities that are realized only in society. In his earlier work in particular he saw this as presupposing an innate empathy for others; hence, perhaps, the human capacity for altruism (though as Marx was well aware a social relationship does not as such imply social benevolence). Though he felt that patterns of economic production define the sort of awareness possible at any particular point in time, plus the specific range of human needs, Marx believed that historical progress would ultimately liberate humankind from all such constraints and allow the material consolidation of communism and hence of every individual, as truly free.

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Biopolitics and International Values. Investigating Liberal Norms by Ralph Pettman


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