“The political left, however, cannot define the political in this purely technical way, since its brand of emancipatory politics inescapably involves questions of value. The problem for some traditional leftist thought was that the more you tried to firm up your political agenda, making it scientific, materialist affair rather than an idle utopian dream, the more you threatened to discredit the very values it aimed to realize. It seemed impossible to establish, say, the idea of justice on a scientific basis; so what exactly did you denounce capitalism, slavery or sexism in the name of? You cannot describe someone as oppressed unless you have some dim notion of what not being oppressed might look like, and why being oppressed is a bad idea in the first place. And this involves normative judgements, which then makes politics look uncomfortably like ethics” (148-9).

~ After Theory.

Ins’t it funny that it is now the Right, and often the Christian Right, which regards markets in purely mechanical terms and as utterly agnostic?

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