Sunday, August 10, 2003

Immanuel Kant's notion of "True Liberty" in a Secular State (7,last)

This new institution educates and trains people from early childhood to internalize the requirements of this structure. In this system, the habitús of the people is defined and shaped, and in due course the outer becomes the inner and the citizens internalize the state authority. The promise of "true liberty" becomes lost within the new structure in which individual has a constant encounter with the police state. In this system, therefore, the possibility of self-renovation as the consummation of Bourdieu's "practical conversion" through altering that "structured set of structuring dispositions" becomes limited and almost impossible.
Habermass argues that during the Enlightenment, "private individuals assembled into a public body began…to discuss openly and critically the exercise of political power by the state." These citizens, as he argues, had free access to information and expressed their opinion in a rational and domination-free manner. Therefore, they were provided with a freedom, which would eventually lead them towards transformation and salvation. This pervasive belief about public sphere is rooted in the Kantian notions of essentiality of "reason" as an independent faculty functioning in a pure realm of originality. However, as I discussed, this becomes only a ground for a shift in the way that power has been exercised, from a direct involvement of church to a structure in which people are trained to internalize the power.
Bourdieu argues that, "system of preferences" which underlies our decision making depends on not only all the previous choices of the decider but also on the conditions in which his "choices" have been made." Along these same lines, in this paper I demonstrated that religious values of those who historically constructed the public sphere and the Foucauldian notion of "structural effect," in which "the modern state works internally through disciplinary power," are true obstacles blocking secularism's promise of "true liberty." Anthropologists for a long time have taken the secular, as a realm devoid of religious values, for granted. It is necessary also to examine the oppressive bodily habitús needed to become secular.

(written by Navid)
(posted by Farid)

Comments: Post a Comment