Ruptured Rhapsody

A different kind of "blog," consisting of selections from my scribblings over many years. The date of each post is the date I originally wrote that piece. So, the top post is usually not the latest post, because I continually add writings from different years to the blog. If you have visited here before, you are likely to find new posts anywhere on the page. I'll continue to add "new" posts as my time allows.

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Location: Toronto, Canada

31 May 1993

Justice vs Efficiency

Bob Rae said a while back that he was trying to reconcile social justice with economic efficiency.  But that is a false dichotomy.  The issue is not social justice vs. economic efficiency, because that is like saying the issue is social justice vs. social injustice, i.e., which is better.  “Economic efficiency” means profitability.  It does not mean an optimal way of doing things, where by optimal is meant the way that takes all costs and benefits into account, and therefore seeks to have the maximum productivity with the minimum possible costs and the maximum possible benefits.  Therefore, the most costly and destructive way of doing things may in fact be the way that is most “economically efficient.”  Social justice has never been, and will never be, reconcilable that “economic efficiency.”  The best proof that the advocates of economic efficiency have social justice as the furthest thing on their minds is that they can “rationally” ask whether social injustice is economically efficient.

30 May 1993

Abortion

Abortion, according to progressives, is a kinship issue that does not belong in the sphere of public policy.  One problem with this position is that it is ahistorical.  For abortion to really be a kinship issue, the kinship sphere would need to exist.  But in the current society, the universal sphere of kinship is in every direction invaded by the mass culture of alienation and exploitation.

29 May 1993

Real Empowerment

Empowerment has been misunderstood as taking control.  Interpreted strictly, this is wrong, as it presupposes a hierarchical way of thinking.  Empowerment must necessarily be understood as collective.  In other words, collectivity is essential, rather than accidental, to empowerment.  A community is empowered to the extent that it is a community.  A feminist analysis is essential to an understanding of empowerment.  The corollary is that to the extent that there is “control” as “power over,” a community is disempowered.  We must neutralize the effects of Gramsci’s thinking on the analysis of social action.

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