Re: Transparency and Paradigms

Hemant Desai (
Mon, 20 May 1996 23:12:06 -0500 (CDT)

Devi wrote:

> Recently, Hemant Desai wrote a very interesting item which sparked off an
> equally interesting response from Lois Shawver. I've got a lot from both,
> and look forward to further discussion on this thread.
> However, I do want to comment on a part of Hemant's item as follows:
> >The constructs of justice and freedom were largely ideological creations
> >placed by a ruling elite as mythical avenues for conformity from the poor,
> >women, and ethnic minorities. The situation in many ways still remains so
> >at both organizational and societal levels worldwide.
> Cobblers! and I want to do say so as bluntly (and, thereby- don't mistake
> my respect for Hemant's posting- as helpfully and in as stimulating way) as
> possible.
> One:
> This statement is Hemant's construction, a construction which he chooses to
> make, is meaningful to him, but is not necessarily as absolute a statement
> as its form of expression implies.
> Two:
> There have been many expressions of "justice and freedom". Clearly, all
> have been "ideological expressions", (if the concept of "ideology" is to be
> treated as having any meaning whatsoever: after all, ideology shouldn't be
> seen as a dirty word per se; there's nowt wrong with "ideology"; what _can_
> be extremely problematic is the precise values which a particular ideology
> advocates as essential!)
> Sure, some ideologies have indeed been the instruments of a ruling elite.
> Yet others have been the instruments of people struggling to overcome the
> disadvantages they experienced by being excluded from that elite: the poor,
> female, and ethnic minorities which Hemant mentions, among others.
> It would be bizarre to write off the meaning ascribed to the concepts of
> justice and freedom by people who are disadvantaged as due to some sort of
> "mythical avenue for conformity". It is _precisely because_ these groups
> found their own absolutes in these concepts that they were able to take
> action against the oppressions they experienced, developing their own
> avenues (and ideologies. of course!) of protest and rebellion in the name
> of justice and freedom.
> Three:
> If the constructs of "justice and freedom" are to be eschewed as absolutes
> (which we all try to construe in our own, relativistic way, of course),
> what alternatives would Hemant offer instead of them?
> Kindest regards,
> Devi Jankowicz

Dear Devi and Lois:

Excellent work! It was a great pleasure to read your prompt responses.

BTW, Devi, I would recommend (as the alternatives that you request in
number three above): "compassion and understanding".